Hope Gathering

It was Ann with no “e” that taught many who will link today on Five Minute Fridays to count the gifts, to practice the discipline of eucharisteo, to find graces, name them with thanks right where we are.

Ann had many of the gifts long before she put them in a journal, typed them by number on her blog. When she began to name the gifts, she found the grace of God in the ordinary. And in turn, her heart opened to the extraordinary love God has for her. The counting transformed her. From a defeated, scared person, God re-shaped the timid lyrical writer into a voice for gratitude and gifts. All this to challenge and bless a world that is looking for wonders, desperately needing hope. Her life, at least told in words and blog, testify to the redemptive beauty of living with gratitude “in the midst of it all.”

Sometimes I must really seek to find the gifts.

Sometimes they overwhelm. I lay aside the journal and just try to take them in.

“All this” is to remind me that God is there and Jesus is the real gift.

He gives good gifts to his children.

I watch in wonder.

Photo of painting by Tom Uttech, titled: "Enassimishhinjijweland"

(This painting is on exhibition at Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas. It's title is from a word from a Native American (Ojibwe) word meaning, "hope in the good things to come."

(a tighter shot of this incredible painting)

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