Gifts of beauty

One day last week, I was listening to a radio program on WAFJ.  Dr. Dobson interviewed a family with a daughter, Emily, who was injured many years ago in a tragic car accident.  The doctors did not believe she would walk again, but she was determined. Eventually, she healed and grew up and was able to move out and live on her own.

But, she had a second accident, ten years later, with a calf on a farm and ended up with a spiral break in her leg.

She tells the story of struggling with discouragement on the morning of the second accident.  She remembered her mother’s adage to think of three things to be thankful for when you’re feeling down. She was so discouraged, he had trouble thinking of a third …..

If you’d like to listen to the story, you can do so here. It’s a thirty minute talk show, so if you’d like to specifically hear this part of the story, begin to play the story and then move the slider bar over to 7:00 minutes.  This part of the story is about two to three minutes long.

As I drove along, listening to this story, I was struck by her words.  Emily shared that the three things that she was able to be thankful for
on that gloomy morning
were all physical things –
that were removed from her that afternoon
with this new break from the calf.

And I thought of my list of 1,000 Gifts.

They’re almost all “things.”

God is working on Ann’s heart. She writes
these poignant words
that grip my soul
and shake me…

If we can give thanks for beautiful
if we are grateful for the lovely
if we only appreciate that which is
sweet, rich and delightful



are just like the world.

And so I chew.
I turn over the thoughts in my mind.
I evaluate my motives.
I ask God to show me His ways.
I beg to be renovated from the inside out
that I would
love the unlovely
cherish the difficult
embrace a thorn
that I be made stronger
and my life richer
because I see through His eyes
love with His heart
walk with His gait.

My mind drifts back to my 1,000 Gifts;
sweet potatoes, ribbon, canoes, jute
bracelets, rocks, leaves, flea soap
moss, grocery hauler, verbs, gifts, fog….

Help me, Lord, to be thankful for the eternal
to dig deeper and see the spiritual gifts
given to me through
the physical world around me…
even though those gifts are often
in the unpleasant
… even harrowing.
Oh, that I might experience life
through the movement of your Holy Spirit
thankful for your ever gift
no matter how it is wrapped.


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