GRATITUDE / by Anita Borgas

Sunlight cracking through rain-stained window.
Crumbs from warm cookies spill across benchtop.
Leafy shadows on worn floorboards.

I have said these are the small things. The simple things. The passing moments. Or perhaps I haven’t said anything about them at all, failed to notice their existence; these fractures of experience and time.
A while ago I read a book that changed my life. I don’t say that lightly, either. I enjoy many good books, but “One Thousand Gifts”, by Ann Voskamp is perhaps the only one that has caused an entire shift in the way that I view the very foundations of my daily experience.

Smell of boiling water meeting coffee grind.
Cool summer nights and porch lights.

This shift was the realisation that the ‘small things’ are not small. They are actually everything. It was coming to learn that if someone challenged me to list and name 1000 gifts to be grateful for, I would have to think harder than the auto-bot reply of my primary school days, “for our family, friends, and food we thank you”. I would have to see with new eyes.

Curls of steam from shared cups of tea.
Wrinkles caressing the wise eyes of a matriarch.
Burn of lungs on evening runs.

Not only in seeing these things, but in naming them, I enter into an Edenic state. Enter into seeing that which God has made for me and claiming it as my own. Adam and Eve did not merely, passively, see the animals God had made; they named them. Spoke their authority over them to count them as gift from God.

Laughter that spills from lips like running water.
Bird song from tree tops.

When Jesus healed the ten lepers in Luke 17, and only one came back to say thank you, Jesus’ response was to reply that his faith had healed him. Upon closer attention this makes less sense when we remember that Jesus had already healed him. So what healing was Jesus referring to? In her book, Voskamp explains that the word used in the Greek for this healing is sozo. Sozo refers to a complete healing; wholeness, promised by salvation. So yes, Jesus had mercifully offered all these lepers physical healing, and they received this joyfully. But for the one who received it with gratitude? For the one who returned to glorify God? He received sozo. He received complete, salvation-offering healing.  Rescued from a broken heart, a pain-tainted life and a bitter soul only able to see the trials His life had borne.

Phone call from a sister.
Afternoon nap beneath a sun-glazed sheet.

Our gratitude walks hand in hand with our salvation. God’s greatest gift, greatest life, greatest healing awaits us when we approach His throne with thanks spilling from our lips.

When we realise that every moment, whether perceived in our humanness as gain or loss, is in fact gift, because we realise that without Him this breath, this body, this life, would not exist, we enter into God’s fullest life for us. When we acknowledge that the ability to feel bursting joy and devastating pain could not be but for Him, we are accepting sozo. 

I am learning.
Trying to adjust to spirit eyes.
Trying to teach this
human-as soul
that true salvation renders my heart in constant gratitude,
seeing everything as