One Thousand Gifts, I have just started to read this book. I found out about it from my daughter, Devon, who heard the author, Anne Voskamp, speak at her bible study and it seemed to me that this book would be beautiful. It is. I have only begun to skim the surface of it but I can already see she writes like sumballo, collecting her thoughts like pearls on a string. Treasures pondered. I love that.
Beautiful thoughts, struggling thoughts…pondering.
With these cold winter days I have had more than a few reading projects to ponder. One I have just finished is “Memoir of a Geisha”, a friend at work told me to read it, she said it was beautiful. The reviews on the inside flap say the author has written "..a beautiful but fragile tapestry to linger over..if life is a stream, this is a shimmering pebble that makes the water dance.” Honestly, at first I was wondering about this beauty, the beauty of his words. But, sometimes when a book is finished the message of it and the characters come back in a wave, it is then that you are washed in it’s beauty and you are left looking for more. It was beautiful. It ends with these words, “But now I know that our world is no more permanent than a wave rising on the ocean. Whatever our struggles and triumphs, however we may suffer them, all too soon they bleed into a wash, just like watery ink on paper.”
Struggles and triumphs…suffering.
Suffering. I have also been reading through the Bible, Eugene Petersons the Message. I came to the Book of Job, I wasn’t going to read it, I know that book, the story it tells. But, I did. It was a gift. A beautiful gift of suffering, lamenting and overcoming. In the midst of Job’s suffering, his friends come along side and for seven days they sit quietly beside him, feeling his pain. But then comes the exchange of accusations and defence. I love the words in another book I read once “ God, God, God, look down.” These were the words on the mind of Job too and he says “..even though innocent, anything I say incriminates me, blameless as I am, my defence makes me sound worse..” God, God, God, look down. But God, He comes back with this “ Do you presume to tell me what I’m doing wrong? Are you calling me a sinner, so you can be a saint…I’ll gladly step aside and hand things over to you..” But God. God does look down and Job is convinced "You can do anything and everything."
Now finally I come to James, the start of James, The Book of James. This is the topic of our new bible study, I already know it will be a gift too. James, very probably the brother of Christ, surely he is. James overcomes the doubt he has in believing that Jesus is the Christ. He is. What a beautiful introduction Beth has given us, introducing us to a man who is a statesman, who offers a bridge joining Jews and gentiles, offering a blessing of peace, offering shalom.
Believing, bridging...offering peace.
Ahh, peace, just when I thought winter was going to pass us by, I’ll be here peacefully reading my moments away, for now it will be reading with Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts.
And I know what’s coming, they are all around me…one thousand gifts. More.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above,
coming down from the Father of heavenly lights”