I sat down yesterday morning to think about this naming of gifts. So simple, yet so full. So much harder than I thought it would be. It's really not hard, I just make it hard. I don't want to name the simple, I want to name the miraculous, but I don't see it. I look around the room and try to name gifts. Things? Gifts from others? People? The quiet? Nothing seems like gift until I begin to name. Then all is gift. It seems silly to write down the things right in front of me. I try to name something meaningful and significant and I end up trying to remember yesterday's gifts and God tells me, "No, learn to name the gift of right now. And do it right now." I think I shouldn't bother with the every day stuff that happens over and over. The simple. And then I know, it is in this simple naming- everyday, all day, right now, that I will find the miracle. Somehow the miracle of the unexpected is right here- in the right now. The grace-joy-thanks miracle. It is this learning eucharisteo that brings the miracle.
I was filling with excitement as I felt His Spirit teaching me, showing me His endless stream of grace, busily scribbling in my thanks journal, naming scriptures, looking for the unexpected in the simple, in the expected. In the every day. Trying to focus on the right -now. Today, not on yesterday. I kept looking. My thanks journal fills with thoughts, some are my own, a scripture, a song, a daily grace to capture feelings, memories, phone calls from loved ones, time spent with friends. There was a scripture on my mind from the day before. I knew it was yesterday's gift but I began writing it down in my thanks journal anyway. The verse simply said, "See to it that no one misses the grace of God.....". Then I saw another, "It is good for our heart to be strengthened by grace....". And then another, "Let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise."
The sky is still dark. I know it will begin to change soon and so I glance up from my notebook. All is black. Stillness. Inside and out. I thank Him. My author friends Sara Young and Ann Voskamp share thoughts, and I write, naming gifts. Every few minutes I look up again to see if the sky has changed. From my seat, I can look through the window and the dark sky looks back at me. Another scripture comes to mind, "The light shines in the darkness but the darkness does not overcome it." and I keep looking. Waiting, I write some more. Read some more. Just a hint of light showing through. When I watch, nothing changes, but if I look away for a minute, then I see it, growing brighter filling the sky. Breaking of day- like breaking bread. I give thanks for the filling, for my daily bread, broken for me.
My thoughts were interrupted and, just for a minute, I left the room. When I returned to my chair I looked out the window again. Now I am moved to tears at what I see! It is the unexpected in the expected! In the everyday, in the right now! Joy filled my heart as I witnessed the miracle. The sky was on fire, spilling red across the horizon. It was magnificent! I kept looking, fixing my gaze on it, steady, hoping to spear it through with my eyes. To capture it. But it lasts only for a moment. A miracle of God's love for me. I write it down. Day break. I say thank you.
Kristin is coming home from California today. Leaving at midnight and flying all night, arriving on the east coast in the morning. I give thanks. I continue reading where I left off. Ann is on her way to Paris to meet a friend. She is naming gifts. The man sitting next to her in the airport plays a gently melody that calms her fears. When she boards the plane the window seat is empty. She is thankful she can at least look out the window. After a long night of flying over the ocean, she rubs the sleep out of her eyes. When she looks out the window she sees it. The miracle- breathtaking breaking of day. Day break. Red sun rising. She names the gift, "sunrise bleeding love up over all the world." I am speechless!! This is crazy love! Endless stream of grace. I close my books. Sit quiet. Amazed by grace. Filled with daily bread. I say thank you.