One Thousand Gifts: Go Lower

I think about it all day and the more I let it have sway the more it does. It hurts. The words were said careless. Not given to me but thrown. It’s been weeks but still I can’t let go.
There was the man who sat in my office the other day—sobbing.
All this just brings up feelings that I thought I’d let go of.”
I know. Oh, how I know.
I turn on music to distract my mind but it only provides a mood for rumination. I try to rehearse the scripture, but my heart won’t let my mind focus.
I become the little girl me, alone and lonely.
No one understands.
And the more the hurt settles into my pores, the more I let it define me—the angrier I become.
Well, he should have…
Why didn’t he…
The angrier I get, the more it feels right. I am entitled to feel this way.
But the thing is—justified or not—it doesn’t feel good.
Righteous indignation only perpetuates the wrong. It keeps me from giving grace. And who am I? When it has been lavished so richly on me?
I go out to the garden.
…That word humility itself comes from the Latin root humus—the kind of earth that grows good crops. God gives the earthto the humus-people, the humble ones. Humilityis that good humus that grows gratitude that yields abundant joy.
And this is where I find the strength to forgive—on my knees, pawing this soil, tilling it with my fingers and pulling the weeds.
My heart is like this garden. So much hurt can go to seed if I don’t tend it regularly. I forget myself here—forget that cutting in my heart, that feeling that I don’t belong. Here, the smallest of creatures fills me with wonder and I am lost in joy. 
True saints know that the place where all the joy comes from is far deeper than that of feelings; joy comes from the place of the very presence of God…
It is in this forgetting myself—this making me small—that things fall back in the proper place. And I am grateful.
Awe…awe ignites joy because it makes us bend the knee and I remember a night chasing moon and we are in deepest happiness in the posture of grateful worship. Because the God-likeness within our smallness speaks to Father-God in His magnificence. I hadn’t understood that in wheat under lunar light: That all wonder and worship can only grow out of smallness…The quiet song of gratitude, eucharisteo, lures humility out of the shadows because to receive a gift the knees must bend humble and the hand must lie vulnerably open and the will must bow to accept whatever the Giver chooses to give.

This is the ninth in a series on Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right WhereYou Are.  Join me this time next week for a reflection on Chapter nine.

One Thousand Gifts: Chapter One
One Thousand Gifts: Chapter Two 
One Thousand Gifts: Chapter Three
One Thousand Gifts: The Now Sanctuary
One Thousand Gifts: The Hard Eucharisteo 
One Thousand Gifts: The Great Beauty Hunt 
One Thousand Gifts: Seeing Through the Glass
One Thousand Gifts: Just Trust 


  1. says

    Beautiful, Laura, and so real. I can smell the earthiness of my own frailty and know it is awe that keeps me kneeling there. Oh that we would have eyes and ears to see and hear His majesty in every way. Blessings!

  2. says

    Oh Laura, haven’t we all been there – the mental arguments with me always coming out the righteous one!
    It is just as you say – it gets me nowhere. But grace…it takes me all the way to gratitude because I have been forgiven so very much.

  3. says

    ~Love it lovely Laura~

    Been thinking all week about David “letting go” of his very own son’s horrific responses to him. He moved in love to his wayward wicked son. I’m feeling the pain of hurt this week but more resolve to be holy, to be ALL IN and know God is in this and He will take care of us. He just may be calling me to a death. Love you Laura! You give hope!

  4. says

    I have had a crazy busy week…the kind you can’t really let anything go it is what it is. I haven’t even got to go visiting at the linkup … the only one I link to usually it has been so crazy. It has been four days and I open your email post…Laura..just know that your words today spoke to a place that was throbbing..thankyou

  5. says

    It must hurt the weeds to be pulled out of the earth by their roots!! Our hurts are often not real, but self pity. That is what my husband always tells me! Beautiful photos and lovely thoughts here.

  6. says

    “So much hurt can go to seed if I don’t tend it regularly.” Wonderful. Laura, this post cuts right to the heart of things, reflecting deeply on what Ann has written, making it your own. Your prose is pure poetry

  7. says

    Lynda, so true, every one of us who knows Our Lord knows of this place where peace goes far beyond understanding or circumstance. thank you for this reminder – thank you for the words of Ann – thank you for your heart. God bless and keep you and each and every one of yours.

  8. says

    Digging in the dirt. Somehow that gets us down to the humble perspective, doesn’t it? And dirt, soil, earth – such a rich metaphor.

    Another beautiful post, with a life-changing truth blooming from it.

  9. says

    Oh the sway from those kinds and tone of words—the top picture illustrates the sway all the more. I felt the heat especially now with the burning temperature of our winds here lately. Your photos and words are both as vivid as the emotions and truths shared. I am sorry. I am also thankful God allowed the experience at this time when He could welcome you to the garden in summer. Your soul shines beautifully in all its honest vulnerability. The weather conditions and growing patterns He provides are fully of mystery. . . and we certainly need to Go Lower to remain rooted, trusting.

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