"It is always possible to be thankful for what is given rather than resentful over what is withheld - one attitude or the other becomes a way of life."
He had seen me gasping for air, for life, for something. I myself didn't know what. In a dinner exploded kitchen, the love of my life handed me clean white paper with crisp black letters, "I thought you would like this." And the water balloon my head had been swimming in pops and I breathe and it is air and not water anymore.
My mother-in-law must have sensed my gasping for air, for life, for something too ~ through the phone, through the emails thousands of miles away. She brings me One Thousand Gifts. Said she read it twice, thought I'd like it. It sits by my bed for weeks before I open the first page. Once it is open, I can't close it and I feel life again and I stop gasping.
Eight months later I am gasping for air, for life, for something. I see One Thousand Gifts on the shelf and grab it again, this time as I sit each morning waiting for physical therapy. Why am I so hard headed when it is right there in front of me ~ being thankful for gifts God gives me each day. The trip to the clinic each day is short but full of lessons.
The bus screeches to a halt and I climb on. Stomach flutters to throat and I transport back to the fear I knew that day I was crushed on the bus, my swollen pregnant belly screaming with every crush and the driver oblivious to my call to get off at the bus stop and the yells of others to stop that bus so we could uncrush ourselves and breathe. Fears must be faced and so I face it and get on. Careening around corners we whiz past broken up sidewalks, graffiti covered walls. And I hear the hiss in my ear ~ what is there to be thankful about all this?
The ride home is slower ~ a volkswagon bus, my style of public transportation. Now I can see the green that has pushed itself up through the crack in the cement and is a flourishing tree. Its roots must go deep, I think, to be able to live like that. And I need to dig my roots deep, deeper into His Word so I can live like that too. But I see the drink too, the drink to the lips and it isn't even noon and there is the truck that brings the drink and it claims in big bold letters, "Great times are coming". And with every drink they think the great times are coming, but they never do and so they drink on looking for them. And the faces I pass with the drink on the lips, in the hand, at the table are innumerable on that ten minute ride home. And I hear the hiss in my ear ~ you really think you can make a difference?
And it hits me hard, like every other time, that I am in this battle for life and I will struggle daily to keep my perspective, to stay thankful, to stop the negativity that seems to flow naturally from my lips and crush my family. And I know the answer to the hissing in my ear, "YES, I can be thankful for all of this and YES I can make a difference but ONLY by relying on the One who called us here!