On Grief and Gratitude

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We had not said a permanent goodbye to a single person in a whole year. One whole year. I would be lying if I didn’t say I hadn’t felt so lucky in a long time. That’s the thing about overseas missions, most especially when everyone is single and young. There’s a lot of movement. We don’t necessarily have any “lifers.” This isn’t bad; it’s just different. While we’re here, we’re just as committed. While we’re here, the work is just as important.

We could see it coming for miles, the way you know the end of a novel is near not only because the problems are getting solved and the characters are coming back together but also because the stack of pages held by your right hand is becoming thinner with time. We were not surprised, and it came with our blessing. The next season was near for the two staff members who helped start this whole thing.

Continue reading “On Grief and Gratitude”

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eucharisteo

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I first saw it scrawled out in italicized font on her arm, a permanent reminder. I tried not to stare, but it was so beautiful. I asked her about it, and her green eyes lit up as she explained it to me.

Eucharisteo. Life-filling gratitude.

The word is beefy, comes from old Greek; an interesting collection of sounds strung together that make my mouth dance as I say it. Eucharisteo. The kind of thankfulness that fills your life. The kind of thankfulness that is a wellspring of joy.

Isn’t that what we all want–a full life? To bubble over with joy? Could it be so simple?

Well, all I know is that I forget how to be thankful. But today, I fight the lie that whispers that I do not have enough. That I need so much more. That I live an empty life. Today, I am thankful. Continue reading “eucharisteo”