As I read One Thousand Gifts, I’ve noticed the author uses grace, joy, and gift interchangeably. It’s a bit curious, but after reading the quote at the bottom of the post, I think you’ll understand how these three words are so closely knit. By the way, I love how Ann looks deep into the Greek meanings of the words 🙂
Within eucharisteo (meaning thanksgiving) are the words chara (joy) and charis (grace). You see, these words are intimately linked. To give thanks for something is to find the joy within it for which to be thankful. These gifts are graces given to us.
I don’t know about you, but I have all my basic human needs met- shelter, food, air, water. Not one are the basics covered, but I also have luxuries like a bed, cable, a phone, books, and more things that I don’t necessarily need to survive. These are all graces (things I don’t deserve but have anyway).
So you’ll see me be thankful for the joys that bring a smile to my face, the gifts I have been blessed with, and the grace of having “extras.”
Because eucharisteo is hard to explain, I’ll let Ann try to enlighten us.
That’s what I was struggling out of nightmares to reach, to seize. Joy. But where can I seize this holy grail of joy? I look back down to the page. Was this the clue to the quest of all most important? Deep chara joy is found only at the table of euCHARisteo– the table of thanksgiving. I sit there long… wondering… is it that simple?
Is the height of my chara joy dependent on the depths of my eucharisteo thanks?
So then as long as thanks is possible… I think this through. As long as thanks is possible, then joy is always possible. Joy is always possible. Whenever, meaning- now; wherever, meaning- here. The holy grail of joy is not in some exotic location or some emotional mountain peak experience. The joy wonder could be here! Here in the messy, piercing ache of now, joy might be- unbelievably- possible! The only place we need see before we die is this place of seeing God, her and now.
Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts
No matter what you call your good things, the important part is their recognition. Today, I hope for us to pause and reflect on the good, giving thanks where it is due.
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