So last week much of it was filled with the funeral of the unchurched man who died in a motorcycle accident. We had the funeral Friday afternoon after a week of preparation and attentive ministry to the family.
Saturday morning Dale and Mary Combs found that one of their week long guests and such close friend died in their home in the night. So by 9:00 a.m. I'm with this family and the police in a setting, once again, so bizarre, stunning, and surreal.
And then this morning...this morning Legrand and Carrie Strickland visited our assembly. Legrand, you might remember, is our man who was hit by a bomb in Pakistan after the first of the year. All others in his company were killed. He alone survived.
He spoke from his wheelchair...as he now has no legs. He shared how his heart is full of gratitude. Legrand noted how other soldiers in the hospital complained and fretted as they had lost fingers or even one leg; but he would not be down for he had lived.
If we will but awaken to the pain around the world and right next to our paths, maybe we might be a bit more like Legrand? Might we find reason to be grateful for what we have instead of disgusted at what we don't?
Envy, jealousy, greed, and self-centeredness serve to wreck our thinking processes. Gratitude and thankfulness launch us into a theme of exuberance and over-joy! We know what to do...so let's get on with the being happy!