I wonder . . . if the rent in the canvas of our life backdrop, the losses that puncture our world, our own emptiness, might actually become places to see. — Ann Voskamp

Right now, in Dad’s shop just outside my office window on this rainy Tuesday night, a couple with 32 days left before they marry is making the gifts for the people who are in their wedding. Their story has been long – years of heartache and loneliness, self-doubt and pain lurking behind the dawn each morning. Yet, now, I hear them say, “Love you, too” when they hang up with each other. Just this minute, the saw is quiet, and I imagine them standing under the beautiful florescence of lights at night just smiling.

There is so much lack in the world – lack of mothers and spouses, lack of friends who were once there, lack of plans and purposes, lack of book structures and publishers – so much lack that it is easy to fall into it and be buried by the things that are not there.

Sunday, we were driving through the hills of Virginia, and he kept pointing out the houses and places we passed – “Isn’t that beautiful?” Yes, I would nod. Yes, it was. On our way back out of the mountains, I stopped mid-sentence, and we both said, “Wow.” A tall pillar of cloud was backlit by the sun – gorgeous, we agreed. Now, as I think about it, I wonder if this was what God’s pillar of cloud looked like – was the backside of it the pillar of fire? The guiding marker of God caught in the sky.
'A Pillar of clouds' photo (c) 2006, Beat Machine - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

It is so easy to be buried by what I do not have and to lose myself in the midst of that – I don’t have a structure for the book. I don’t have a mom to consult. I don’t have hoardes of friends close by – that I can miss the pillars of gorgeous that God paints around me. I miss on the thousands of pages of the book I have written. I miss the fact that my dad just brought me peanut butter cookies and hot cocoa. I miss the good friends – Heather, Jansen, Shelva, Sarah – who always answer when I call.

If my friends in the workshop tonight had missed out on the blessing that was their friendship – if they had let themselves be buried by the darkness of lack – I would not be cutting their wedding cake in only 32 days. That would be such a shame. Thank God that the pillar led them together.

I am trying consciously to see the grace of gift in each day. Peanut butter cookies and cocoa; rain that falls to lull my spirit; friends in love. What graces make your day glorious today? Please tell me about them.