Thursday, June 7, 2012

Don't Miss This Gift

© 2011 Ann Voskamp / Zondervan

I remember the first gift.

I was in a long line of anxious, grabby women. (Your narrator included.)
They were running out of books, and I needed three. Two for gifts, one for me. Hushed and hurried, clutching the three to my chest, I peered around the others to count my place in line, and I caught a glimpse of her, glowing patience amidst hurried, hoardy women.
We were justified in our hoarding. A presenter at Story, Ann Voskamp had just spoken rich, golden grace to poor, parched souls. She teased with hints of finding beauty and fullness in each moment, and we all had to see for ourselves.
Half-expecting fool’s gold, I approached her and held out my three. A warm smile and exchanged words, her hundredth autograph of the day scrolled beauty and grace on the page. Then (even as a trailing, chattering, weight-shifting line awaited) she stopped and laid her open hand on the page. Bowed her head. Lips moved.
Astonished, I blurted, “Did you just pray over my book? Do you pray over all of them?”
A shy (how could she be shy?), knowing smile answered, “Yes.”
Two more times, I watched, and her patient prayers sent me on a careening flashback to my sole line-bearing book signing. At first I neatly personalized and inscribed each with a sentence and signature, but as the line grew, I began crazily scribbling just my name (as if that were a gift at all).
And here was Ann Voskamp, seller of a gajillion books, embracing this one moment, this one, wide-eyed gawker, to stand still in the gold rush and gift me with a blessing.
That was it—the first of a thousand, the first of an infinite stream, a bottomless mine of pure grace-and-beauty gifts.
Please. Don’t judge this book by its cover. The title is One Thousand Gifts. But it’s so much more.


Laura L. Smith said...

Thanks for sharing these gifts with me. Her words are so inspiring, calming, empowering and brilliant reminders that everything in life goes a little more smoothly, if we take time to bow our heads.

Jamie Chavez said...