November 21, 2010

Bond of Gratitude


There is an ancient legend about two angels I’ll call Hannah and Haylee whose turn it was to gather the prayers of the people. Wherever people prayed, Hannah and Haylee stopped and gathered the prayers in baskets. Hannah gathered requests and Haylee gathered prayers of Thanksgiving.

When their task was completed, Hannah’s basket was overflowing, and Haylee’s was practically empty.

In the Gospel story about giving thanks, Jesus healed ten lepers whose bodies were covered with gangrenous and festering sores. Their clothes were torn, their hair disheveled, and they were required to announce their presence wherever they went by calling out, “Unclean.” Jesus healed all ten lepers, but only one was able, thoughtful and appreciative enough to say “Thank you.”

Not everyone is willing or capable to do that. Perhaps it’s because there is a sort of submissiveness or humility about expressing gratitude. A self-centered person will take great pains to avoid a situation in which he or she must, or ought to, express gratitude for gifts received.

As we gather together with family and friends on Thanksgiving Weekend, may our prayers reflect our faith in our Creator and acknowledge our appreciation for the blessings we have received. Even if other ties with God are strained or even broken, the bond of gratitude will always bind us to Him.

Thank you for reading Contemporary Parables.