The root word of eucharisteo is charis, meaning "grace." Jesus took the bread and saw it as grace and gave thanks. He took the bread and knew it to be gift and gave thanks. But there is more, and I read it. Eucharisteo, thanksgiving, envelopes the Greek word for grace, charis. But it also holds its derivative,the Greek word chara, meaning "joy." Joy. Ah...yes. I might be needing me some of that. That might be what the quest for more is all about.
Deep chara joy is found only at the table of the euCHARisteo-the table of thanksgiving. I sit there long...wondering...is it that simple? Is the height of my chara joy dependent on the depths of my eucharisteo thanks? So then as long as thanks is possible...I think this through. As long as thanks is possible, then joy is
always possible. Joy is always possible. Whenever, meaning-now; wherever,
meaning-here. The holy grail of joy is not in some exotic location or some
emotional mountain peak experience. The joy wonder could be here! Here, in the
messy, piercing ache now. I whisper it out loud, let the tongue feel these
sounds, the ear hear their truth. Charis. Grace. Eucharisteo. Thanksgiving.
Chara. Joy. A triplet of stars, a constellation in the black. A threefold cord
that might hold a life? Offer a way up into the fullest life? Grace,
thanksgiving, joy. Eucharisteo. A Greek word...that might make meaning of
everything? (pages 21-22)
(this is me now...I can't figure out how to stop the blockquote!)
I have started keeping thanks journals all over, one downstairs, one in my bedroom, one in the diaper bag. I finding myself scribbling down thanks, in the tiniest of things:
a fever, broke
a mountain view
Star Wars theme music, streaming from a little boy's room
a house quiet, kids sleeping
and I can feel it shaping my heart, to see how God is good in all things. My heart is being prepared to give thanks in all things- even the hard, chaotic moments, I find myself turning to thanks. I am thankful for truth, heart-piercing truth. I also think it's cool that my little girl's name is Karis (Charis) Joy. Very cool indeed.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
I am reading a great book right now, One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. It is amazing, really. She writes as she is thinking, poetic, free flowing but in the midst of her stream of consciousness are some profound truths. The premise of the book gave birth to a project she started on her blog, a keeping track of thanks. I have begun doing this in my life over the past few weeks and I can feel it already beginning to change me. Here is an excerpt from the book, meditating on Luke 22:19- "And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them...":