I’m challenging myself to post a picture every day during the month of November (30 Days To Be Thankful For) and to add a caption as to why I am thankful.
Day 10, November 10
I am grateful for small things today:
- the three-year-old hands of a grandchild, happily splashing in the sink
- diminutive crab apples, food for hungry birds
- fine curlicues on a yucca plant
- delicate veins of a husk cherry
- seed head of a stunted purple coneflower
- gossamer “wings” of milkweed seed
The sun sets so early now that I didn’t think I’d have time for a walk outside before the light failed, but I decided a short stroll was better than none. If I hadn’t gone, the silky filaments of the milkweed would have been unobserved. I could have been too busy to watch my grandson playing in the water, too rushed to follow a wayward robin hopping branches, eating crab apples, or too distracted to see the setting sun ignite the translucent oak leaf. I might have missed seeing these small graces and lost the opportunity to give thanks–and missed the miracle of joy.
Small things, the stuff of miracles . . . do you remember this story?
a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish John 6:9
Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. John 6:11
Gratitude peels away the veil of the mundane, the every-day-ness so that we encounter the miraculous, and then we experience the joy.
For small things, the stuff of miracles, I’m grateful.
* name changed
As I drove down rural roads last June, my three-year-old grandson and I played a game to pass the time and practice identifying colors and shapes. I would tell him what I saw, and he would look for it.
“I see a yellow sign shaped like a triangle.”
“I see a red barn.”
“I see blue flowers.” I pointed to the plants lining the shoulder of the highway. “They’re called chickory.”
“Chickadee,” said my grandson, thinking he was repeating what I’d said.
“Chickory.” I corrected.
He was familiar with “chickadee,” so that was the word he heard.
New is hard. It takes a while to twist our tongue around a new word or to open the door a crack to a new idea.
When the apostle Paul was on the road to Damascus, he saw a bright light and heard a voice saying, “I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.” I might have answered, “So, God, I keep persecuting the Christians, right?” but Paul answered, “What shall I do, Lord?” Paul was willing to hear something new.
Perhaps none of us will see a blinding light, and few will be asked to take the gospel to far-away nations, but all of us may be asked to speak to someone we don’t know, think about a Bible verse in a different way, or consider a new ministry.
Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out!
Isaiah 43:19 The Message
So if you sense God is talking to you, take your fingers out of your ears, and be ready to hear something new. Chickory!
background photo by Barb Briggs