I’m not quite done with thankfulness it seems… I wanted to take a timeout from a top ten tuesday list and talk about something else.
While it was a great weekend (what weekend isn’t great that last five days), this past weekend definitely had its share of frustrations because that’s life. There were little annoyances with strangers at stores, other drivers on the road, children of mine and yes, husbands of mine as well. But something else puts things into perspective, my parents’ pastor’s sermon on Sunday was from a series entitled, “The God Who Called Me” and was about the examples in our lives that shape our stories, our faith. Clay talked about the people in his life who shaped his faith and ministry, about those people in his life who spoke truth and who are authentic (especially poignant as he is wrapping up his ministry career next week). One of the people he spoke about is a woman who has been going to the church for years and for as long as I can remember she’s been in a motorized wheelchair, less and less able to move. She has MS and over time it has taken so much of her physical body from her and caused her much pain, and now her voice has also gone as the disease has impacted her lungs and weakened her so much that she can’t speak above a whisper. Clay said that she said that she didn’t mind losing her voice as it gave her more time to pray. As I left church Sunday, there she was in her wheelchair, reclined back and unmoving, waiting for her husband to get her (I’m guessing). I can’t get that image out of my mind.
And then the woman sitting in front of us in church is fighting a battle against brain cancer, living on truly borrowed time and still there on Sunday, worshipping and not giving up. Her oldest daughter was a year or two younger than me so we were together in youth group and I’ve talked with her from time to time. During the greeting, she turned and shook my hand and said, “It’s so good to see you.” And I responded likewise and in that moment, I felt the depth of those words; more than the cursory, “Good to see yous…” because each time I do see her and she sees me, it might be the last because that’s what borrowed time means – that you aren’t assured anything. That you appreciate every moment, that you are thankful for every thing. Because what you have are those moments those and hopefully a peace about what is to come.
My dad said when we were at home, it makes you realize how trivial those things are that you complain about – for him he was thinking about the lingering pain and frustration after his knee replacement – because really, it can be worse. And yet we still complain, because we know what we know. But I’d like to take another moment to remember what we have to be thankful for – for things big and small. We still have our lives and our families. We can still enjoy Diet Coke and cinnamon rolls (irony aside). We are blessed beyond measure. And I personally am loved so very much. And I am so very thankful.