Thank You.

“If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.”
Meister Eckhart



Months or maybe years ago, I was skipping quickly through statuses, and there it was.  My little peepers popped over that old adage and my blood boiled.
I heated up because here was just another set of words that so very, in my opinion, misrepresented what prayer is.

The essence of being able to speak to God wraps long arms around so much more than ‘thanks’, and here it’d been minimized to the note you send after brunch.

Infuriating.


Some people, huh?
They just don’t get it.


I say my Thank-Yous just as much as I should.  They’re smushed in there somewhere between my “Why?”s and my “Gimme!”s
(I’m pretty sure they’re in there.)

We can take a vacation from gratitude when life gets hard.  Oh sure, we wouldn’t say that, but it’s more than okay.  We don’t have a choice.  How are we going to gurgle out a gracias when we’re drowning?



Saturday I wound up the long drive to work still in the mostly-black morning, and about the time that I got the sleep almost all the way blinked out of my eyes, I rounded that last bend and it’d happened.

The sun had begun to rise. Behind me.
And I hadn’t even noticed.

But then, as I came around that final curve, a stone building stood tall and each of it’s 8 stories of windows blazed a glorious warm golden pink.
Simply reflecting the sunrise being painted out of the darkness.  Simply stunning.

And Mister Meister himself, his reminder to say ‘Thank You’, took a tug at my heart.



Now, you see, said heart has been busy healing.
I’ve been so busy licking my wounds and laying low and wringing out salty tears from my skin that I haven’t had the wherewithal to stand & just reflect His goodness… His very great, grand, goodness.

Those hundred panes of pink whispered into that barely patched together space in my chest and quietly, unassumedly, asked “How hard is it to be a reflection?”

I’ve seen candles burn with intensity and the mirrors around them just bounce off the glow.  The effort required? None.
So here I have  been, busy saying that I am too tired to do anything but hurt.
And I’m not hurting because of a boy.  (Though he’s not totally not to blame.)
I’m so damn brokenhearted because I don’t understand the God of dashed dreams & broken hope.

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick” Proverbs 13:12.

Well, if it says so in His own book, He must know about it!
He is more than aware of our deepest longings for being known & being pursued, for making a home & filling it with baby giggles, for adventure & love… and when those planned-on longings unravel in our hands and we have to stand knee-deep in a fallen apart future, we can face physical sickness.

It’s hard to shimmer like a clean mirror shining back His goodness & grace when we’re muddled & cloudy and it’s the inkiest shade of dark in our insides.
So we do a lot of spouting, a lot of crying, a lot of just surviving.


But what are we telling a tired, tear-filled world of Him in those moments?
…that it’ll never get better?
…that He’s ultimately in the game of hurting and not healing?
…that we have to stitch ourselves back together because He’s retired as the Great Physician?

Maybe.

In the recent gapes of silence, if I’d ever allow the loneliness to stop deafening & defeating I think the sweet curls of gratitude would sneak into that empty, though heavy, space.

And my knees might rub raw from a hundred or more kneeled prayers of grateful. of thanks. of hope.

Thankful for the friends that live in every corner of this country and yet have made the intention to check in.
Thankful for the wisdom of brothers that are twenty-seven, and twenty-one, and nineteen.
Thankful for the baby sister that  crawled under the covers with me while I laughed then cried then laughed then cried, making sure I laughed and making sure I knew it was okay to cry… and making most sure of all that I knew I wasn’t crazy.
Thankful for the kind of worship on a string of Sundays that seemed to crack off the church’s roof and reach right to heaven’s ear.
Thankful for a friendly face and words of warmth on almost every store & street of this becoming-mine hometown.
Thankful for surprise bouquets and paper love in the mailbox.
Thankful that He is listening even when there aren’t whole words or whole thoughts, even when I’m fractured and angry, even when I forget to say ‘Thank You’ …


I wonder if bloody knees and a small, but hopeful, smile would do more to reflect Him than what I’ve been doing. Maybe all the big shouts of anger and then cold squinted wondering could be outwrestled and peaced by a few more Thank You’s… or for a while, maybe only Thank You’s.

Somewhere in it, where I am… where you are… there has to be more room for thankful.

Some people, huh? They just don’t get it.

And tonight, I’m thankful that through my thick head & this sob-soaked wall of self protection, a sweet curl of gratitude is sneaking in.

Thank you Lord, for binding up the brokenhearted. …for taking your shirt sleeve and polishing away our dirt and our dark …for making the sun rise behind us.

May we cast a glow that emanates not only from our weary surfaces, but as though it was from our deepest reaches.


Tonight, I am thankful that though my painted picture of a whole happy future has been ruined by a fat black brushstroke through it’s middle… that there is still the possibility of a million other futures, a million other pictures, a million other possibilities for whole.

Thankful that hope deferred could maybe, someday, turn into a grand adventure… turn into a hallelujah.



Thankful that right now… anything could happen.



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