I’m grateful today. I woke up to an early sunrise, set in a perfect blue backdrop. You know the kind. God knows some mornings need smiles more than others, and this morning, mine was from ear to ear. Spring Hill, TN was bustling. Cars were on the road more than the prior 6 weeks since the countrywide shutdown began. April and I made our way to our favorite coffee shop, which (because of social distancing) had limited seating, but was open for business. Before I could order, they slid my latte across the counter. I looked up and there it was again, another smile. Even through the mask I could see it. The eyes gave it away. Before long, I noticed something about this crazy struggle we’re in. People are smiling. People are courteous. Families are together and glad to be out and about. How beautiful is that? How unexpectedly has thankfulness come upon us?
Thankfulness has been on my mind for days. When my heart gets full enough, I usually pick up my pen and begin to write. It’s what I do. But even in my journaling I found barriers; places of unspoken expression that are either frowned upon or just plain old too taboo to write about in one circle of friends or another. What do I do? I want to express my heart, but how? How can I say what I want to say without it being misconstrued or trolled as an opportunity for someone else’s agenda? Tears fill my eyes while writing this because social tensions are so high that I have to go to these lengths to qualify a simple gesture of thankfulness. But then… the smiles of Spring Hill give me hope.
This might be a crazy idea, but I think I’m going to do it anyway. I want to invite you, whoever you are, to the smiles behind the masks. I want to invite you to a table of thankfulness. I will not take any jabs or trolling on this post (those will be deleted). There are literally millions of places designed for debate on political and other issues and some of them can be helpful and informative. This is not that place. This is for my friends, and for anyone willing to chance a grateful heart.
I’ll go first:
I’m thankful for my country, my president and my other leaders in government. That doesn’t mean I’m a Trump lover or left wing hater. It means I’m grateful to them.
I have loved ones that have lost their entire means of making a living, including some of my family. The stimulus was really, really helpful for those in desperate situations, so I’m thankful.
I’m thankful for my wife and my daughter. They are the goodness of God toward me. They are the measureless treasures that only Grace can measure out!
I’m grateful for my Spring Hill/Columbia family/church and friends who have shown me that even a mask can’t hide a truly grateful heart.
Lastly, my heart is brimming with thankfulness because the God of perfect Love does not love only perfect things. And my most sacred delight is that my imperfect way of loving can never mar Him or change His affections over me.
How unexpectedly has thankfulness come upon you?