On the 11th Day of Christmas . . (Written Dec. 2006)
Whenever I'm having trouble being thankful, all I have to do is think of "It"!
"It" belongs to one of our passengers.
She is very poor, but with transportation help, she has been able to hold down a decent job for a while now.
We drive her there and back five days a week.
Last week was a bit different, Christmas was just around the corner, later in the week. Then, all day Wednesday it rained, and during the night, the rain turned to ice.
I got out on Thursday morning to pick her up, but, I suspected they had already closed her work down for the rest of the week. I didn't want her to have to come out in the cold just to tell me that, so, instead of honking the horn and waiting for her in the van (normal procedure), I got out and walked up and knocked on the front door.
Thus came my first and only glimpse of "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."
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.
She doesn't bring any attention to "it", and neither do I. In the moment, it doesn't seem like the right thing to do.
Now that I am actually looking at "it", she is a little embarrassed, and I am feeling the awkward moment.
So, we busy ourselves with a bit of light conversation and we pass 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, just past her shoulder, "it" lays there in silent testimony of how blessed she is.
As I turn away and walk back to the van, I am remembering what 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 luxury 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, twin 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 who are 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