Monday, November 28, 2011

Book Discussion: Chapter 8 in One Thousand Gifts

Brandy at Afterthoughts is blogging as she reads A Mother's Rule of Life. You can catch up on the series (so far) here. Her third post was still fresh in my mind when I read chapter ten of One Thousand Gifts, entitled empty to fill.

In this chapter, Ann Voskamp continues her exploration of eucharisteo:
At the last, this is what will determine a fulfilling, meaningful life, a life that, behind all the facades, every one of us longs to live: gratitude for the blessings that expresses itself by becoming the blessing. (emphasis the author's)
She realizes that each and every task is an opportunity for her to be a gift to others, that all of His gifts are in fact incomplete unless we reach out to others.
I scour pots and grin silly: I can wash feet here by washing dishes.
Scratching a stubborn pot furiously with a wire scrubby, I remember it again, what I once read of liturgy. That liturgy has its roots in the Greek word leitourgia, meaning "public work" or "public servant." The meaning! This life of washing dishes, of domestic routine, it can be something wholly different. This life of rote work, it is itself public work, a public serving--even this scrubbing of pans--and thus, if done unto God, the mundane work can become the living liturgy of the Last Supper. I could become the blessing, live the liturgy! I rinse pots and sing it softly, "This is my song of thanks to You..." (emphasis the author's)
There's more. We must not think only of the people we serve, the very real crying, moaning, whining, grumpy little people -- or even the homeless, the sick, the elderly.
When service is unto people, the bones can grow weary, the frustration deep.
When we concentrate on serving other people, even people we love deeply and who depend entirely on us as a newborn does, we dwell on ourselves. We think of our sacrifice, what we deserve.
But when Christ is at the center, when dishes, laundry, work, is my song of thanks to Him, joy rains. Passionately serving Christ alone makes us the loving servant to all. When the eyes of the heart focus on God, and the hands on always washing the feet of Jesus alone--the bones, they sing joy, and the work returns to its purest state: eucharisteo. The work becomes worship, a liturgy of thankfulness.
I haven't finished the book yet, but I think this is by far the best chapter with only one to go.

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