April 3, 2011

Giving Thanks....

So I've started reading Ann Voskamp's book "A Thousand Gifts" and I love her website ...A Holy Experience. I've only read a couple chapters in her book and beyond the beautiful prose and her masterful use of language is this question today:

How...?! 

How does one give thanks sometimes? When prayers go unanswered and seemingly unheard; loneliness and a sense of failure are constant companions or the heart yearns for community and finds none? When life just isn't what one had hoped or thought? Or when those we love are selfish, unforgiving or cold and do not even seem to see us or our needs, the blood spilling from broken hearts?  How long does one continue to hope when all hope seems an exercise in futility? When nothing seems to have a point or make a difference, and you wonder sometimes if anyone would even notice if you weren't there, or would they just say a few words and move on? If you feel like you are walking through wet sand that just keeps slipping back into the places you've already been, doing laps around the desert like the Israelites of old who could see the Promised Land but just couldn't seem to get there? When you've articulated needs to others and the only answer is "I'll pray for you", or the implication that if you just try  harder, pray harder,eat better, exercise more,  or had more time daily with Lord,etc,etc.....it would get better (thereby unwittingly adding to the burden of things not done)  & things that are broken within or without continue to go unmet, unseen, unheard, unsalved?

When DID we stop saying thank you in our culture or in our own lives? and HOW do we begin again? In the midst of calamity as big as the tsunami in Japan or as "small" as a wounded lonely heart?  As Christian's sometimes we feel we shouldn't even have to ask and others who bear the name of Christ are often more hurtful then helpful or can't bear to look upon your honesty and so they don't. Doesn't Paul say "in everything give thanks?" Yes, Yes he does but walking that out is not so easily done, and to simplify anothers or even your own suffering  down to trite answers is to trivialize the sufferings of our own Lord and Savior........

I appreciate this books beautifully written words and well chosen imagery already but more than that her honesty to lay bare her heart and ask the hard questions....... where is the grace in daily living? In a world where there seems to be none some days?

2 comments:

Pattie said...

It took me 2 months to finish her book. It's deep. It's good.

Holly said...

A friend and I were talking and she had an extra one so now I have my own yeah! And I can mark in it, highlight,etc..... :) (I guess that would go on my gifts list?!)

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“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." .... Jeremiah 29:11 (esv)