I am tired.
The rumble of distant thunder reminds me of the graces that have brought joy today. An affirming email. A knock on my carrel door. Two knocks. Dear friends just checking in. A kind student asking about my work. A high five from someone who has stood in my shoes and knows. Being greeted by name. Belonging, in this place.
The rain slows. I hear the downspouts trickle. There is more, so much more.
Old friends, come to see us. Shared memories. A love note from Easton. Emma's joy in walking me to the corner. Ana's hugs, so frequent these days. Danny's strength, holding me steady when pressure mounts and making space for me to win, for us to win. Morning dew crowning each vibrant blade of grass, erect and glittering as the sun's rays angle through branches still heavy with leaves.
"Joy is a flame that glimmers only in the palm of the open and humble hand."*
And so I hold open my empty, empty hand, ready to receive. Ready to name the gifts, to say the graces.
A dissertation breakthrough. A conversation full of hope. A place at the table. A window into someone's heart. Children who love to snuggle and read, who delight in my silly accents. Students eager to grow. Empathy. The still small voice that says, "Well done," when I've given all I possibly can and there's so much more to do.
"Leave the hand open and be. Be at peace. Bend the knee and be small and let God give what God chooses to give because He only gives love and whisper surprised thanks."**
*quote from Ann Voskamp, one thousand gifts, 177.
** quote from Ann Voskamp, one thousand gifts, 178-79.
Postscript: I awake in the wee hours of the morning to another downpour. My sleepy ears make out the rhythm—grace, grace, grace. And—soul wide open—I receive it with thanks.