Giving Thanks for What Is

At first light I wake.

My temples pounding and piercing me with pain, I am angry with the fierce illogic of it all.  I try to understand.  I wake resentful.  Am I thirsty?  Did I wake too late my body screaming for caffeine?  Or is this another manifestation of the depression, the black fog that has clouded my days for – I count them – fourteen long days.  And fourteen hostile, dreamless nights.   I wake wondering if I slept at all?  This morning with a headache, I question it.  Headaches hold messages, ciphers of secret coded understanding; though today’s meaning I am too foolish to fathom.  I stumble downstairs, the dog at my heels.  Coffee.  Migraine medication. Water. Toilet. In that order.  I can only focus on these four whispered words.  Each step, my head aches as I blink and blink again.  My right foot’s bones twinge, piercing through the fog.  Again, foot pain.  Why?  It is always worrying me these days, why all the pain?

This thanksgiving day, I want gratitude. 

I am so blessed.  I know this, it is almost appallingly clear – I have nothing to be depressed about.  But my depression is something deeper, old, even ancient pain that has nothing to do with today’s abundance.

I sit and drink in the silence.  The oldest son is awake, the early bird, tap — tap –tapping keys of his fingers on the keyboard.  Otherwise silence.  It sounds so good.   Even as my stomach lurches, and my head continues to pound, I sit in the wonder of silence and ask God to open my ears.

For He is always speaking, if only I could hear Him, see Him, receive Him.

I’ve been reading One Thousand Gifts and I pick it up, again – for what could be better on this day of thanksgiving than a book about learned gratitude?  It hurts to read.  Eyes blurry from sleep, head still piercing I feel a flood of the Tears That Never Come, flood the walls of my heart, full.  Bursting. Pain.  To honor the intent of the book, I’ve begun my own list.  I’ve only cobbled together – I count them — Twelve things this week. I titled it:

A Dare to Name all the Ways that God Loves Me:

  1. Health insurance.
  2. A husband’s love.
  3. A home.
  4. The truth of scriptures.
  5. Daniel gave thanks.
  6. For children’s laughter.
  7. For children’s questions.
  8. For childlike faith.
  9. Imaginations of children.
  10. The sound of LEGOs pieced together, clicks and clinks as the youngest boy digs.
  11. The click of computer keyboard, as ideas fall onto the screen.
  12. The tinkling of guitar chords, rising from the basement.

I add to the list, even through my headache…

  1. Skinny boy legs.
  2. Coffee, warm and soothing.
  3. Enthusiasm of children.

 “For God speaks again and again, though people do not recognize it.”  Job 33:14

Yes, I hear Him speaking.   And the promise I hear from him today:

“See now that I, I am He, and there is no god besides Me;

It is I who put to death and give life.

I have wounded and it is I who heals.”  — Deuteronomy 32:39  NASB

I am tempted to focus on  his words I have wounded, but I “should” remain, even linger with these words — It is I who heals.

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