Sunday, March 20, 2011

One Thousand Gifts

What does it mean to be poor?

Isn't this what you saw in your mind's eye, or something like it?

Or maybe this?

Or even this?

When we think of the poor, we think of those who are without: without homes, without clothing, without food, without money. Without all the material things that most of us have an abundance of and take for granted.

If you ever have the opportunity, spend some time among them: in Mexico, on the Navajo reservation, in Haiti, in Kansas City or whatever city you live in. You don't have to go far. Reach out. Share a meal. Talk to them. Take the risk. Get to know them. You may go in thinking you have something to give to them.

But the truth is, they have something extraordinary to give to you.

They will show you that being "poor" means relying on God for every need, every day. It means to be watchful for God's provision, knowing that everything that comes into your life, every need met, has been delivered from His hands. It means giving thanks for every. small. gift.


I believe, WE are the poor. Our lives are so busy with work and family, little league and dance class, committee meetings and ministry. We are always in a hurry to get from here to there. We miss so much. We miss every small gift that comes from God's hand. Yet we are not satisfied. We are not content. We think there is never enough. Not enough space, not enough money, not enough stuff, not enough time. WE are the poor.

So here is my dare to you:

Begin a list of the things you love, a list of the things you have to be thankful for. Open your eyes and heart to the little gifts from God that are hidden among the deadlines and the dishes. When you see them, write them down. Nothing is too large or frivolous. Nothing is to small and insignificant. Because it all comes from Our Father who loves us and knows how to give good gifts. Begin thanking Him in all things, naming them one by one, until you get to One Thousand Gifts.

It will change you. And when it does, I'd love to hear back from you about your journey into thanksgiving.