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"One Thousand Gifts"
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It was Melissa Brady (wife of Jim Brady of the Booth Brothers) who sent me this book with a sweet note saying she somehow thought it would speak to me. Isn’t that just the way with things too good to keep to oneself — recipes, ower clippings, songs, insights of children, great books?

How did Melissa know that my poet heart is sometimes gasping for air? How did she know that we are all starved for beauty, living here in this all-too-often-ugly world? And how did she know how hard it is to remember that all the glory our hearts crave is unlocked with Eucharist — giving thanks?

I had no idea, when I smiled at the simple beauty of the book jacket, that between the covers under it would be a gentle invitation from the Lover of my soul, asking me to take a dare from a kindred spirit named Ann Voskamp, to risk making my own list of 1000 (at least!) things I love — an exercise in seeing, focusing on the too-often unnoticed miracles in my own life, or as Ann says, “the joy of small that makes life large.”

The writing of Voskamp is breathtakingly beautiful, but her life has been anything but pain-free. Like most of us, her journey has been scarred by tragedy. Maybe that is why she had to find healing in Eucharisteo — in the discovery that the storehouse of all good things opens through the door of gratitude if we want to live fully alive. And, as she says, in spite of how dif cult it is, waiting is necessary to gain perspective on the things that crowd to the front of the line and stare us in the face. Yes, “God reveals Himself in the rearview mirror.”

Like all things too good to keep, I give you this large gulp of cool water for the thirsty. Maybe that’s the best way to say thanks — to share the Eucharisteo — to Melissa and Ann and all who, against all odds and staring atrocious memories down by calling them grace, dare to unlock the riches of God’s great heart with the practice of gratitude for the smallest things.