Yesterday an ice storm ran amok over our area of NC. Today, the sunshine glistened off our swiftly moving lake and temperatures reached 65. Quite a difference. The difference became even more stark as I drove into town and saw all the downed trees and power lines. As I slowly made my way past yard after yard of mangled trees tangled in wires, I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed with gratitude. Our property had not been touched by any of it, and our electric had held steady throughout it all.
If we survive the storm, we tend to find it easier to be thankful. Think of all those news stories and interviews after a storm. Even if people lose everything, they are thankful for the miracle of surviving…for the safety of loved ones…for people who helped…for a few items that they were able to salvage. Thankfulness comes after the storms of life, right?
Today, one of my favorite store’s parking lot was filled with 60+ utility trucks – a couple that had OH license tags. Men everywhere …standing…sitting on the back of the trucks…checking their utility boxes…laughing with each other…awaiting the orders which would start their long day of cleaning, repairing, and connecting things back together. People around me are thankful for that.
“For all of the wondrous moments of our lives we place our gratitude in the spotlight”. (Rabbi Marcia Pager) Jewish wisdom has a way of humbling the thought process. It reminds us that not only should we be thankful after the storms —- we should be thankful over the everyday things – the inconsequential things – the minutia – even those things we can not see. The Jewish Rabbi known as Jesus recognized this in His teachings. I wonder…as He walked through the meadow, heading toward the valleys that would lead him to Jerusalem, what was He thankful for? He knew the storm was coming. He knew this earthquake would shake the world and rip the curtains of what had been. Was it hard for Him to find thankfulness on this path? I fear that it would be for me. Yet – even as I wonder I can almost hear His soft laughter, see His smile and see the answer in my head…
“My heart is ready! O God, my heart is ready!” Ps 57:8