Year of Gratitude #24

It’s been a hard weekend. A hard beginning to this week. I’ve been putting off writing a Year of Gratitude post—writing anything really—because I’m having a hard time keeping an even keel, much less looking on the bright side, which is the whole point of the YOG post series.

That’s why it’s far past due time to write one.

Today I am grateful for:

1) People who spring to useful action.
In the face of tragedy, I am not often one of these people. I have a quivering heart and hair-trigger gag-reflex. I am thoroughly ashamed to say that in certain types of emergencies, it’s often all I can do to stay standing without blacking out or losing my lunch.

That’s why I admire and respect the people who can turn shock and fear into forward action. I don’t declare or expect them to be saints, or—worse!—to be totally devoid of emotion in the long run. As Kanarie says, we all have our gifts, our ways of coping. I just see that some people consistently run towards immediate danger instead of reeling away from it, and I am more grateful to them than they will ever know.

2) Meaningful worship.
I can’t help it: Liturgy is so important to me. A worship service that commands my brain to engage is forging one more path to my heart, stronger than any platitude.

As I knelt to pray around the cross this evening at our mid-week Lenten service, a choir of 8 men canted psalms. The words washed over me, co-mingling with my own scattered thoughts, and fortifying me with a language of prayer that is so old, so familiar. It feeds and strengthens me to say the same words, to ask for the same gifts as men and women of my chosen faith have done for centuries.

We still want the same things: Peace, compassion, forgiveness, mercy, grace, strength, rest, and the will to start work again in the next new morning. And we still believe our God is faithful and can give us those things.

3) The husband’s common sense in non-sensical things.
Having a hard time finishing even this pitiful little list of things to be grateful for, I just asked the husband, “What else am I grateful for?”

“I can’t tell you that,” he said. “Your gratitude comes from within you.”

And that reminded me how grateful I always am when he helps me filter my high-flying, tree-climbing, refusing-to-climb-down-the-proffered-ladder anxiety and stress into manageable bits. Logical bits. Reasonable bits that even I can’t dispute the sense of. He helps me pull my claws out of the bark and start slinking my way down to solid ground, where things are their normal size and scale. And he lets me do the same when needed. And I’m grateful for that too.

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