Wink and Say ‘Thank You’


There are moments when you experience a deep settledness, a generous contentment, with your life. You find yourself at ease or you realize that the laughter’s flowing free or maybe you recognize how, with almost no effort on your part, your joy exudes an uncanny resilience. And what I find most delightful with these generous flashes is how I can never tell you exactly why they’ve arrived, what wind blows them in – or even what wind will eventually push them on. I did not manufacture this grace, and so I know it’s foolhardy to cling tight. It’s my happy lot to just enjoy the gift, to wink and say thank you.

I’ve experienced this ineffable joy a time or two over the past couple weeks. Our life is good, but we’ve had no fewer troubles than normal. If anything, our world has added a few stress factors that would typically leave me sucking wind. And yet, here and there, I’ve been overcome by a profound gratitude, an awareness (even if only for a few hours) that I am alive in this good and magnificent world with people I love, doing work that, though small and ordinary, matters to me and maybe to a few others as well.

For so many good gifts, I want to say my thanks. There are sorrows in this world, but there is also much goodness, much beauty, much possibility. As often as the gifts come, I want my thanks to come just as fast. “Grace and gratitude belong together like heaven and earth,” say Barth. “Grace evokes gratitude like the voice of an echo. Gratitude follows grace as thunder follows lightning.” Like thunder follows lighting, yes indeed.

In this week when we turn our heart to gratitude, I want to join the chorus. I also want to thank those of you who read my words. Perhaps it sounds cheeky for a writer to say thank you for reading, but what else would we say? And particularly if we really mean it? So, thanks to those of you who land here regularly, those who drop a line every once in a while. It matters.

10 Replies to “Wink and Say ‘Thank You’”

  1. “Those of you who drop a line every once in a while – it matters.” I am ashamed to say that I never thought of saying how thankful that I am for the words that you send to us who are soaking them up like a sponge. They are always insightful and touch my very soul. I share them with my family and friends. The one about “prop up my leaning side” has taken me though many a dark time. I loved the one about the Revolutionary Shepherd also. Please know that the words that you write fall on ears that are eager to hear and that they are spread by the hearers. God bless your work and may you have a wonderful Thanksgiving knowing there are those who are truly thankful for you.

  2. I wanted to just say “ditto” to the comment before mine. I am so grateful for your writings. They always seem to hit me right where I am. I am not an articulate person, my words always fall short in writing or speaking it seems. Many times these words were exactly what I wanted to convey to a loved one or words I needed to speak aloud myself. You writings in grief and loneliness and were especially helpful. Thank you! Keep it up.

  3. And thank you as well. Your words – and their insight – are part of the reason that initiated our connection. That, too, and the grace of an heavenly Father Who specializes in surprises – and joys – like a too fleeting meal in downtown Charlottesville with my wife and me. May He continue to give you the grace to do what you do, to know this is where you are to be, and to do all you do with all of your heart for His glory. Again, thank you.

  4. Yes I read but I don’t thank…Thank you for reminding me that there is beauty , joy and that grace and gratitude go together. I woke up this morning to sad news…and I also have an element of anxiety as a family member is going to surgery today! Amidst all of this I’m glad I had this let me just wink and say thanks!

  5. Thank you for sharing your heart with your readers. When I open my email and see your posts, I know that I am about to be blessed. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

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