I go and they stand under the shade of the maple, all six of the love-children, and that chiseled Dutch man stands tall behind them, and with hand that has held me he holds our youngest. They all wave, wave like banners in the wind, and I’ll carry the memory of the ocean-blue eyes all across the Atlantic. I watch them long in the rearview mirror and I am an amnesiac being healed, for I really remember that eucharisteo has taught me to trust. I leave crops in the field and a husband with half a dozen children. There are a thousand ways to humbly let go.
…I would have let fears that He wasn’t close, wasn’t passionately caring, wasn’t tenderly tending, keep me from seeing this sunrise bleeding love up over all the world? Now that would have been crazy! Look at that love that orchestrates red over water, that arranges light to play ocean in shimmering lines, that composes sky to gradate, scale of luminosity. And all for us—in this moment! He chose me—us! To be His bride! True, that’s the intellectual premise of the Christian life, but only as the gifts are attended, not as ends but as means to gaze into the heart of God, does the premise become personal, God’s choosing so utterly passionate. So utterly fulfilling.
…Had I left the farm, left my small world, got on a plane to fly a whole night over watery depths, landed in Paris, the romance of France, traveled, yes, even to one of those thousand places you must see before you die, for God to speak to me the exact same word He had spoken to me back at the farm, had been speaking to me for months, a year and half now—the same word He speaks everywhere?
Even physical, sexual desire is only an echo of the huge wanting that consumes us, which is never satisfied this side of heaven—the desire to know someone to the fullest, a clenching of two bodies, two souls, the need for a supreme and burning intimacy.
Mystical union. This, the highest degree of importance. God as Husband in sacred wedlock, bound together, body and soul, fed by His body, quenched by His blood—this is where eucharisteo leads. Lover bestows upon the Beloved gifts, the Beloved gives thanks for those gifts and enters into the mystical love union…
Out the kitchen window the sky rolls out. Apple blossoms fill all the orchard. The morning dove warms her bluing hope. I can hear Him, what He is telling the whole world and even me here: this is for you. The lover’s smile in the morning, the child’s laughter down the slide, the elder’s eyes at eventide: this is for you. And the earth under your feet, the rain over your face upturned, the stars spinning all round you in the brazen glory: this is for you, you, you. These are for you—gifts—these are for you—grace—these are for you—God, so count the ways He loves, a thousand, more, never stop, that when you wake in the morning you can’t help turn humbly to the east, unfold your hand to the heavens, and though you tremble and though you wonder, though the world is ugly, it is beautiful, and you can slow and you can trust and you can receive each moment as grace. Eucharisteo. Eucharisteo. Eucharisteo.
This is the last in a series on Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right WhereYou Are.
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
One Thousand Gifts: Go Lower