If you've not read Ann Voskamp's book ONE THOUSAND GIFTS, put it at the top of your "what's left of summer already" reading list. I cried for three days. Straight. Sitting in my chair letting all the dishes pile and the laundry mount. An attack.
Wendy gave it to me. As I read the pages, glued, I could hardly believe what I was reading. Actually, the first time through, I could only hear her heart...I couldn't really get to the words yet. I heard my own voice in those pages, and she helped me find something that I had lost. She helped me find a buried piece of my heart. Crying hard. Wondering how this woman got hold of my journals, read my emails and walked around in this soul crying out for more. Finding out that I'm not really alone in this big old world. That there are some. Like me. And you might think that sounds arrogant, but I think it's actually pretty sad. That I would get to be 42 years old before finding out that God has made others to live in the deep, soul places.
I wonder if anyone called Ann weird. I wonder if anyone said she was too sensitive. I wonder how she survived those wounds that rip right through. Soul shrapnel. How did she climb those deep gashes in the mountain?
For about a month after reading the book, I don't think my feet touched the ground. I know that Jesus is ALWAYS with me, but to know that I am not alone...on the human planet where everything is fallen and everybody is getting along broken. Limping lives. Just to know that somehow, I am connected to another in this way has lightened my load. HUGE. Her words not only touched my soul, but held it. My hands reach to catch this one woman, just to cradle her back. For a moment. An unknown woman, who lets herself become known. And who calls us all to do the same because, as Jesus lovers, we have the story that everyone needs to read. His life, the scripted holy, written on our hands, on our work, on the way we love each other.
Ann, you are out there somewhere, and you will never read these lines. You have made a difference in this life. While I would never bow down to you, dear lady, I do bow to the One Who gives you words that sing and paint heaven somehow. I am grateful. You are one thousand gifts.
Thank You, God, for Ann,