It’s no coincidence that as rain turned into slush that turned into big flakes of our first snow in Coeur d’Alene, I was stranded in a coffee shop with only a book to keep me occupied. The book – One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.
Tim and I had waited until the last minute to get our little car fixed up with snow worthy tires. So, it seemed, had most other people. We were 31st in line and had a projected wait of four hours. We resigned ourselves to making the coffee shop across the street our home for the evening.
Aside from an hour and a half interlude with some friends who graciously picked us up and fed us dinner, I spent over two hours immersed in Ann’s “list of naming God’s gifts.” I read how eucharisteo is the fullness of life. Thanksgiving. Gratitude. They are inextricable from joy.
“I would never experience the fullness of my salvation until I expressed the fullness of my thanks every day, and eucharisteo is elemental to living the saved life,” Ann whispers in my ear.
The snow begins to fall when we leave our friends’ house and falls faster when we reenter our second home. Walls shield me from the swiftly swirling snow as I hunker down for another hour of waiting, but coldness still penetrates my heart.
I have been dreading this blanket of white. Snow means winter. Winter means cold. Cold means something dreary in my soul. I so desperately want sun and warmth and sandals.
Even as I read and agree with Ann’s words that rejecting joy doesn’t rescue suffering, I am obstinate about my current displeasure. I reject the beauty and the purity and the silence of snow. It falls and my spirit falls with it.
I do not begin to melt until I hear the simple metaphor in my yearnings for heat and sunshine. All I want is the sun and I am struck that the only thing that will get me through this season is the Son. My innards stubbornly refuse to resign their sinking until eucharisteo reminds me again of the Son.
I cannot dwell low when the Son is shining high.
First with intentionality and then in a flood of thanks, I feel rays of His warmth kissing my skin in…
A bouquet of flowers and an ice scraper clutched tightly in my husbands hands.
The flicker of a candle flame reflected in our TV screen filled with fake fire.
Heat-filled cheeks from the steam of a hot bath.
Elegant green boughs heavy with white powder.
The oven timer signaling fresh-baked cookies are ready and warm.
My own list of naming God’s gifts has begun. It is what propels me out of the cold, into the warmth of the Son. With thousands of unique pieces of icy lace floating from the heavens, my heart echoes Ann’s prayer, “in the posture of euchariseo, I want to slow down and taste life, give thanks, and see God.”