Tag Archives: eucharisteo

from the dust

I love the last day of the year.

New Year’s Eve has always been one of my favorite days. Because it feels like one last chance to breathe deep before the canvas is drenched in white again. One last chance to sit in the quiet with myself, contemplating all the remarkable possibilities that are held inside the walls of a new thing.

This year, the inhale of possibility and the exhale of a year feels more like relief than it has in many years. So much so that I’m starting my own quiet festivities early. Husband and puppy tucked into bed, I take to the kitchen to make some vegetable soup. Because chopping vegetables feels a little like liturgy, and God knows 2014 has needed more than its fair share of that. So I stand at the stove, and I chop, and I breathe in the smells of things that have risen from the ground, that have been brought up from the dust, and sometimes everything I need to know is in a pot of vegetable soup.

God’s best things are the things raised from the dust. The things that have been buried. The things that have been made into something new, the things brought low and destroyed in the process.

This year has been so very hard. Is it okay to say that? I hope so, because it has been.

Hear me when I tell you that I don’t say that for pity. I don’t say it to open up a public forum for me to air my personal grievances with life

I say it because I know, to the depths of my soul, that I’m not the only one.

I’m not the only one burying dreams.

I’m not the only one desperate for the clean oxygen of a fresh start.

I’m not the only one thinking, “Is it okay to say this year has been REALLY damn hard?”

I’m not the only one who needs a pot of vegetable soup and a reminder.

A reminder that God’s best things are the things raised from the dust.

You have not been left buried, dear one.

You’re being raised from the dust.

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messy eucharisteo

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.

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