On the 11th Day of Christmas . . (Written Dec. 2006)
Whenever I'm having trouble being thankful, it helps to think of "It"!
And, it helps to think of her!
She is very poor, but with transportaion help, she has been able to hold down a job for a while now.
We drive her to work five days a week.
Last week was different, though. Christmas was just around the corner. With the Holiday toward the end of the week, she was going to be off work on Friday, anyway . . . then, it rained on Wednesday, during the night, the rain turned to ice.
So, when I stopped by to pick her up on Thursday morning, I suspected that they had already closed her work down for the rest of the week. I didn't want her to have to get out in the cold just to tell me that she wasn't going to work. So, instead of honking the horn and waiting for her in the van, I got out and walked up and knocked on the front door.
That's how I got to see "it".
She had told me about "it" many times.
She would say, "I am so blessed to have 'it'. Without 'it' I don't know where I'd be."
Sure enough, when she opened the front door, there "it" was, right behind her in the little front foyer.
I had wondered what "it" would look like.
But, today, with both of us standing right there with "it", we were both a bit embarrassed.
She didn't bring any attention to "it", and neither did I. It just didn't seem like it would be the right thing to do.
Instead, for a few moments, we busied ourselves with light conversation and the passing of the necessary pleasantries:
"No, there's no work today."
"So, I won't see you again until after Christmas."
"Thanks for coming by to check on me."
"I'll see you next week."
All the while, as I looked past her shoulder, "it" lay there in silent testimony of how blessed she is.
As I turned away and walked back to the van, I was remembering the times she has told me about her previous life.
(Before the addictions . . . before the DUI's . . . before the arrests . . . .before the jail time.)
"I was quite wealthy," she recounted. "I had SO MUCH."
Then, she would pause and say, "But I was so proud."
She would tell me a bit about the fancy car she drove and how she bought anything she wanted without thinking of the price. "
But, you know" she said, "I never thought about anybody else. It never bothered me that others had less than I did. I could have helped them, but I never even thought of them." She pondered, "I think God is allowing me to go through this to humble me. I think He wants me to appreciate what I've got and not take it for granted."
And that's why, this morning and every morning, she wakes up thankful for "it",
There's a little lamp sitting beside "it", on the hardwood floor.
There is no bed-rail to hold "it" up.
"It" is a simple, plain, and tattered old mattress,
lying on the floor,
in the front foyer of a drafty old house.
Every morning, before she gets up, she thanks God for that old mattress, and for the young couple that's letting her sleep in their front foyer until she can afford a place of her own!
Oh Lord, she may be poor in our eyes, but, in her poverty, You have given her a priceless and precious gift that makes her richer than she ever was when she had all that "stuff".
You have given her a grateful and thankful heart.!
Please bless her today, and always.
Thank You, Lord for all Your blessings.
And Lord, . . . . . help us, who have so much, not to complain!
in Jesus' Name.
For all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God. Romans 3:23
"Let the refining and improving of your own life keep you so busy that you have little time to criticize others."
H. Jackson Brown