The Lost Art Of Gratitude

I received a card from a friend today that made me cry. It’s not the first card I have received from her because this unusual lady likes to reach out and touch with a card. She just seems to know when to send one and the exact thing to say to lift your spirit. In fact, you might say she has a card writing ministry of sorts.

This very special lady came into my life about two years ago, when my husband and I suddenly found ourselves caretaking his mother, who had alzheimers. Little did we know how this experience of caretaking would change our lives in such meaningful ways. When my mother-in-law, Grace, moved in with us, we soon discovered that the demands on our time, energy, and emotional beings were all-consuming. We needed some help and, through an agency, Evie came into our lives. Evie became much more than a hired caretaker to us. She became a friend and companion to a woman who barely knew her name and a dear friend to us as well.

Evie has taught me much about gratitude. A card may seem like a very small thing to send, but its impact can be huge nonetheless. Just a few words of thanks or expressions of kindness mean so much. They really do warm the heart; and in a world where real connection with people seems harder and harder to achieve, oh how we need more people like Evie and definitely more cards!

It seems to me, that as a society, we have lost the graceful art of gratitude. Even Jesus expressed complete surprise at the lack of gratitude in his day. In one of the gospel accounts, Jesus healed ten lepers and only one of the came back to thank Him. He basically asked what happened to the other nine. Didn’t He heal them too? Why is it so difficult for us to be grateful? Quite frankly, I believe it is far too easy to get pulled right in to an entitlement mentality that somehow life or someone owes me something. “I deserve this.” “You owe me this.” “I have my rights, you know.” “I am entitled to this.” “Who do you think you are?”

It’s a sad commentary when such simple expressions of gratitude, even a mere “thank you”, are often too few and far to be found. No doubt the messages we have bought into as a society have not only robbed us of meaningful relationships, but the real simple joys of life.

Gracious and grateful people seem to understand that every day we live is really a gift to be treasured and valued. Gracious and grateful people are able to extend graciousness to others because they themselves understand their own limitations. They know all too well that they are recipients of amazing grace on a daily basis from others and a God who loves and values them.

How about you? Need a little more gratitude in your life? I know I do. Maybe the place for you and I to start is by considering what we do have and what is right with our lives. No matter where we are in life, there is always someone who has it worst than you and I. Come to think of it, it’s really difficult to be grateful and depressed at the same time? So what are we waiting for? Thanks Evie for the needed reminder!