Sunday, February 6, 2011

One Thousand Gifts - Chapter One

My dear friend, who is losing her precious daddy to cancer, was on my heart as I read through the first chapter of One Thousand Gifts.

There was a section at the end of the chapter that I just knew that I had to share with her. I also knew that I needed to focus on the words as well.

So beautiful, so poetic and so very very true.........

"I wonder too....if the rent in the canvas of our backdrop, the losses that puncture our world, our own emptiness. might actually become places to see through to God. 

That that which tears open our souls, those holes that splatter our sight may actually become the thin, open places to see through the mess of this place to the heart-aching beauty beyond. To Him. To the God whom we endlessly crave.

But How? How do we choose to allow the holes to become seeing-through-to-God places? To more-God places? How do I give up resentment for gratitude, gnawing anger for spilling joy? Self-focus for God-communion? To fully live--to live full of grace and joy and all that is beauty eternal. It is possible, wildly."

Ann begins her book by taking us to one of her darkest places -- witnessing the death of her younger sister.  It was THE event that made her question God's existence and purpose.

"Where is God, really?

How can He be good when babies die, and marriages implode, and dreams blow away, dust in the wind? 

Where is grace bestowed when cancer gnaws and loneliness aches and nameless places in us soundlessly die, break off without reason, erode away? Where hides this joy of the Lord, this God who fills the earth with good things, and how do I fully live when life is full of hurt?

How do I wake up to joy and grace and beauty and all that is the fullest life when I must stay numb to losses and crushed dreams and all that empties me out?"

I truly feel that as painful as those hard, dark times are, we need them. We need the dark to understand and appreciate the light.

As part of the book club discussions, we are to focus on three themes as we read each chapter.

Seed: What has been planted as you read this chapter? What has it stirred in you?

Water: How are you nurturing what God desires in you? Be intentional and obedient to what your responsibility is in growth.

Bloom: What is the fruit you are seeing from what you have learned?

Today I am just going to talk about the seed.

For me, my seed goes back to the section I mentioned at the beginning of this post, most specifically moving from self-focus to God-communion. In my life right now, there is a lot I have to deal with and focus on. I seem to be very caught up in the things that I need to accomplish each day. I am a control freak by nature, and try to always take on much more than I can obviously handle. Yet, I do all that I can, pressing on.

And while He is there, wanting to ease some burdens and give me rest, I don't run to Him. The sad part is, I want to. I don't feel God's presence right now as strongly as I'd like and it's because I haven't been giving Him any of my time.

So for me, my seed is to let go and let God. I want to run to my Heavenly Father. I want to share my heart with Him, express my burdens, rest in His arms and feel His joy.

Even on the craziest days, I want to fully live--to live full of grace and joy.

 You can read more about chapter one here.


thefaeryinn said...

Me too, Erica. Me too. I'm working on creating that "more-God" space. I need it desperately.