This weekend the kids and I are holding down the fort while The Man is away at the final basketball tournament of the season. It was a good day though; waffles and strawberries for breakfast, ironing (my nemesis- but snapping a photo of it helps me snap out of it), many friends lending a hand toting a kid or two to different events, and then there was some nice quiet time to think in the afternoon. We had Indian for dinner and Skills lost the second of his two front teeth while brushing, producing big, gaping smiles all around.
There was Sumatra for early morning and afternoon sipping (thanks to a wonderful birthday package that just arrived), and there were Words, full and strong as I sat in the quiet.
I love the mindfulness of these small things, these graces that bring joy on even difficult days. But they have always bothered me too... wondering if I was being trite or offensive for appreciating and giving thanks for the small beauties, the little pieces of goodness when there is so much hard and wrong in the world. But the other day I read these words, and they helped me (another gift from the package)
The miracle of eucharisteo (giving of thanks), like the Last Supper, is in the eating of crumbs, the swallowing down of one mouthful. Do not disdain the small. The whole of the life- even the hard- is made up of the minute parts, and if I miss the infinitesimals, I miss the whole.
I discover that slapping a sloppy brush of thanksgiving over everything in my life leaves me deeply thankful for very few things in my life. Life changing gratitude does not fasten to a life unless nailed through with one very specific nail at a time.
I only deepen the wound of the world when I neglect to give thanks...
What will a life magnify? The world's stress cracks, the grubbiness of a day, all that is wholly wrong and terribly busted? Or God?
I know God doesn't hide from the wounds of the world, nor ask us to. He steps in.
Believing this, that He is working, and being on the lookout for it, is part of the fight against cynicism and it's ugly stepsister, naive optimism.
And the giving of thanks, in things big and small is one thing that helps us to see, even on the grayest of days.