What did you collect as a kid? Might there be a vital clue buried therein? A small truth worth pondering all these years later?
I cadged Lipton tea tags, those one-inch squares stapled by string to pleated, porous bags—after Mom steeped them with lemon and sugar.
I loved those tags, counting them, aligning their edges, shuffling them to hear that singular papery whisper. They seemed quietly ripe with promise, like tickets to a secret club: Admit One.
Treasures, with no strings attached.
Author Tim McCreigh writes: “Since our first days, we know the world by touching, our network of senses completely enclosing us like a web of awareness drawn up from the soles of our feet to the follicles at the top of our head.”
How ingenious, these God-given neural networks that collect and curate incoming sensations!
More often than we realize, perhaps, we still find our way forward via what we feel. And by what touches us. This is one of the ways we measure relationships, gauge surroundings and opportunities. We probe our latest experience. Suss out new boundaries, mining their essential substance.
Perhaps we ache over a poignant story, simultaneously awed as we intuit God’s interactive presence.
Two of my dear friends, both of them believers and sublime poets, are currently beset by ravaging cancers and perilous complications. Their treatments, which involve painfully invasive procedures and disagreeable temperatures as well as textures, alarm and worry me.
Heartache crops up.
Yet the radical grace these women communicate through their words and faith and outlook—despite being steeped in protracted suffering—also inspire me, nudge my faith onward. Because of them, I’m seeing both sides now, and I thank God for their example and the practical ways I see them maintaining an immovable stance of gratitude.
Gratitude, so often, is one part awe, one part ache.
I’ll bet that you, or a friend or family member also see, then collect glints of unexpected treasure amid life’s inevitable horrors.
Let’s keep sharing this wealth freely, no strings attached. Let’s offer one another a ticket to enter new states of grace. As we witness each other’s experience, no matter how temporarily bitter, we vicariously strengthen one another, thus sweeten the cup set before us.
As a kid, what did you collect? Do you see any connections to your life today?
You might also enjoy this musical offering from the archives, on gratitude
Or this post: Gratitude: Develop, Break Free, Generate Life
Fern photo: Mario Dobelmann on Unsplash
Faces photo: Soroush Karimi on Unsplash