I am discovering that my list of One Thousand Things is becoming more and more visual. I guess that this shouldn’t surprise me as I have always been a visual person. But it took me a while to realize that a list could be both verbal and visual.
I pick up my camera and see the world in a different way. Snap shot by snap shot. When I sit and reflect on the images, words spill across the page. Words challenging me to find the image. Images looking for words. I laugh as I think how long it has taken me to put these two parts of myself together–the visual and the verbal–working in tandem perhaps for the first time. Working toward one goal: thanksgiving to God in all things.
But what of the hard things, the ugly things? The hard eucharisteo as Ann Voskamp calls it. Will I have the courage to include these in my list of gifts? The tiny heart ill-formed? The gut-wrenching absence of the boy-turned man who took his own life? The dark, shame-filled hidden history? The huge chasm between nothingness and pain that feeds the addiction, the loneliness, the depression? The “you aren’t good enough, thin enough, beautiful enough, smart enough, worth enough,…” lies that seep into the mind, into the heart, into the soul?
I believe–no know–that God is present in all things. Even the hard things. He is transfiguring it all. Will I have the courage to glimpse even the smallest of gifts–transfigurations–in these hard, ugly things? Will I be brave enough to offer thanksgiving in heart break? Will I be alert enough to see the light breaking through the darkness? “Thanksgiving always precedes the miracle” (Voskamp).
Lord, make me brave. Give me courage and strength. Increase my faith. And open my eyes to the miraculous. Amen