I’ve had this blank canvas for well over a year now. It’s been tucked away in the back of my closet; see, I love a blank canvas, and it takes me a good long while to ever really commit to putting anything on it. Because what if I mess it up?
But a few days back, it ended up on the floor of our living room, and I found myself tearing up pages of a beloved old book and Mod Podging torn pieces and lost edges of it onto my beautiful, blank white canvas. And it turned out really lovely. I set it out to dry, fairly positive I would put it on our wall as it was, before I got too crafty and messed it up.
But the past few days, since I started tearing out those pages and creating something new out of two already beautiful things, this word keeps coming to mind, this notion of eucharisteo.
I know basically nothing about Greek, but this one word keeps coming back to me, in things I’ve read, in conversations I’ve had, at the table of bread and wine, the true Sabbath of Sunday. As best I can figure out, the word appears in the story of the last supper, and it translates to, “he gave thanks.” Immediately before he broke bread and poured wine and handed it off to the people dearest to him, people who were broken and unfaithful, people who had denied him, but people whom he loved…eucharisteo.
And so I got out a pencil and sketched it across my beautiful canvas. And pencil became brown paint and did I mention that I’m not by any means a visual artist? Bless it.
And the first half of the word flowed lovely and pleasing, but that…that was the extent of my ability with a paint brush. The second half came out a jumbled group of letters too close together, too much in too little space, paint too thick, messy and incongruous with the first half of the word. And I gritted my teeth and chided myself, because that messy paint is not coming up off that previously beautiful canvas. It was really pretty, and now it’s just not. Definitely not something you put on your wall. So I take it up, hold it in hand, and march it straight back to the closet from whence it came, and leave it there.
And yet I find myself in the living room a few minutes later, thinking about that word that I just painted in all its beauty and messiness, and I think of Jesus himself giving thanks. Giving thanks despite circumstances. Giving thanks for all of the graces in front of him, even when he knew full well that grace was about to get real ugly, real fast. He knew that whole story, knew the blessing and the curse, and he counted it all grace and gave thanks for every last bit of it.
So I walk to my bedroom, grab that messy beautiful canvas that looks so much like messy beautiful life, and I put it on our wall so that maybe I’m not so quick to forget. I shake my head at all the ways God has taught me to see Him, to experience Him, to love Him. Sometimes it’s in the lovely and pleasing. And sometimes it’s in the jumbled group of letters too close together, too much in too little space, paint to thick, messy and incongruous.
Sometimes it’s just in the giving thanks for it all, the Kingdom come inside the eucharisteo.