As I set out to practice Eucharisteo (thanksgiving) through pendulum moments of life, I encounter "sozo", a greek word meaning to save. The "Sozo" salvation does not stop at securing eternity. Yes to salvation, to Sozo, is yes to wellness and wholeness in this life. If I have but one life here, one phrase to write, let it be to live fully in every moment from even the most tentative beginning to the final declaration at the end. And if Sozo, our very saving, is hinged on gratitude, then I must choose to allow my life to be punctuated by thanksgiving- even when my plans, my wishes, are crossed out, erased until the page itself is no longer there. When all that is left is a tearing in the parchment of my life, I can trust that God will write my story on a new page. No need to grope in the darkness looking for an instrument to write the story myself. When I give thanks even in the tearing, the Author can pen a better Once Upon A Time.
When I seize gratitude, my life's story is infused with light. Even in the mundane living of day to day repetitions. Even in the living past a loss. When is my life made whole? When I agree to give thanks- in all things, even that which I did not choose. What is it that Ann said in One Thousand Gifts? "Eucharisteo (thanksgiving) always precedes the miracle." Yes. When I release expectation and disappointment and that which has not worked out according to my plans- when I lay these down and gather gratitude instead, then the Miracle can begin. And it has.
My own new narrative began with two words: Thank you, scrolled in soft black ink across the coolness of a blank page. To my husband, who endured war of nations and of soul, and more than once battled the choice of leaving this reality for the next. Yet, he remembered our family, our boys, and the honor of those who served, giving all. And he stayed. He did the work to look pain and death in the blackest of eyes and he shook his head at the darkness, and, despite his scarred heart, he stayed.
And so I move my pen across the page until Thank You is written into my heart. Thank you for the staying. And I listed the ways he shows love to me, ways both little and large. Suddenly I am weeping for those I know that lost love in one blazing moment. I see the grief of the leaving, the gaping loss. I have been a blind woman, caught up in the grief of my own kind of loss; and I lost sight of the miracle of the staying. There are no words. It is time to let go. Whys and wonderings set into that mystery cup, blinking out of tears remaining, and breaths, slow and deep, until I can grasp gratitude. Stillness heals and again I give thanks for my husband choosing life and love and work and healing when years are long and wounds go deep. Thank you, for courage to work towards wellness, for loving me enough to stay when leaving seemed the easier way. Thank you, my love, for the staying.