My third-grade kids were seated around a table in the school gym. I asked questions about keeping promises. Several related incidents in which someone had kept a promise.
Then Erica spoke up. “I promised to be Tracy’s best friend forever, but now she’s not my friend any more.” Erica had confronted Tracy about some behavior and Tracy told her she’s no longer her friend. Matthew, who can be disruptive at times and has a very short attention span, turned to her. “I’m sorry that happened to you.”
I was amazed and thankful for his sensitivity and kindness.
I found a poem on the back cover of a book about my heritage: Jacob’s Journey, edited by Barbara and Timothy Dyck. The poem’s author is not named so I assume it is unknown. But it touched me as we think of all who have gone before and prepared the way for the lives, freedoms, and the hope with which we live. I am copying it here.
“Lord, we keep forgetting all those who lived before us,
We keep forgetting those who lived and worked in our communities.
We keep forgetting those who prayed and sang hymns in our churches before we were born.
We keep forgetting what our parents have done for us.
We commit the sin, Lord, of assuming that everything begins with us.
We drink from wells we did not find,
We eat food from farmland we did not develop.
We enjoy freedoms which we have not earned.
We worship in churches which we did not build.
We live in communities we did not establish.
This day, make us grateful for our heritage. Amen.”
So, as we enter a week when we focus on giving thanks, I am grateful for third graders who have a tender heart toward others, for the children with whom I have the privilege of sharing God’s love and mine.
I am grateful for my forbears, who fought for freedom, who left a country where they could not worship as they chose to establish roots in a place where they could, and I can, worship the God of our fathers.
I am grateful for my husband and family, whose love has challenged, encouraged and sustained me through the years.
I am thankful for you, my readers, who respond and give feedback to my ramblings.
I am eternally grateful for the love of Jesus Christ, which gives me hope, forgiveness, salvation, peace, love, joy … and who will continue his good work in me until he returns or takes me Home.
” …being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”Philippians 1:6 NIV
For what are you most thankful?