Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Giving Thanks

Shortly after Walker III was born, I was thumbing through the Book of Common Prayer looking for anything that might make me feel better, some words of wisdom…anything. I happened upon a service entitled “Thanksgiving for the Birth of a Child” and I knew that I had found what I was looking for.

I called the young priest at our church in charge of caring for special needs of the congregation and told him I’d like to celebrate this child. I don’t know why it was important for me to do so. I hadn’t had anything like that when the older girls were born, but it was important this time. Jim was at our house within minutes and Walker and I, our two girls, and my mother read the short service along with him. From that day forward, I began to look for something to be thankful for in my strange little guy.

Sometimes when he was little, I was thankful for small milestones…he could lift his head, he could scrooch forward on his belly, he actually slept through the night, he woke up with a smile. Today, I am thankful for his tender hugs when he knows I need one, for his bringing fun music along in the car, for his ever present reliability with his chores, and for his unquestioning faith.

It really seems counter intuitive to give thanks when bad things happen to you. The tendency is to give up on God, and decide that he’s no more in charge of this crazy world than I am. Those of deep faith are no less challenged by the prospect. Can we truly be thankful for a case of cancer or Alzheimer’s Disease or the death of a small child or marital strife and divorce?

We not only can, but we must. We can be thankful that God has stayed with us along the path, however rocky, and will never leave us completely because something of God is within every soul on this earth.

I hope you’ll find something to be thankful for tomorrow…most of us have bounteous reasons…but even if you feel like you don’t, look for something, however small and thank our Gracious God for his blessings, seen and unseen.