From the Pastor:
Giving thanks is more than words, it is action. But it is not as simple as a single act, it is often a series of actions that truly expresses thanks for all that we have. And sometimes it involves more than one person. Recently I experienced this kind of giving thanks.
It was a busy day of working on the home. I took a crisp new $100 bill out of a saving box intending to use it for the projects. I put the bill in my pocket.
I had to run to Home Depot for more supplies, but never used the money in my pocket. When I got home I thought, “I better put that bill back in the box before I lose it.” Well, it was too late. My pocket was empty. The bill must have fallen out when I reached in for my keys or phone and I didn’t notice. I got that empty, frustrated feeling inside, mixed with the little self-pity, “so this is what I get for trying to get things done.” How could I be so careless? The first act of Thanksgiving – appreciating the value of what we have.
I searched all over. The yard, the car, and I even went back to the store. I searched the parking lot and went inside to search around the self-check I had used. Nothing. I asked two of the employees at the registers if anyone had turned in a $100 bill. Both of their faces immediately were filled with that concerned look, and one got on the floor and started to search under the register. I tried to convince them that it was alright and that she really shouldn’t put her hands underneath what had to be a very dirty self-check register. I left the store discouraged, but moved by the empathy and care the two women had expressed. The second act of Thanksgiving – sharing and caring.
When I got home I remember asking God to help me let go of losing the money. I do remember asking God that if it were to be found could it be someone who needed it. I could only imagine how it would feel to be without and suddenly come across that much money. Perhaps it could change their life that day. The third act of Thanksgiving – willingness to let go or share in hope of blessing someone’s life, even a stranger.
The next day I happened to be in the Home Depot again for another matter. I was at the service desk waiting for a representative from one of the departments. I thought, maybe I should ask, so I did. “By chance did anyone turn in a $100 bill last night?” The two women behind the counter were suddenly excited that I had asked. One said, “one of our night stock crew found it next to the drywall board. He brought it to the manager and they have it in the back office. He’ll be excited to know that it is going back to its owner. We all felt bad that someone had lost that much money.” The fourth act of Thanksgiving – compassion.
As I walked from the store, I was overcome by all that had happened. It had very little to do with the “once was lost but now is found” bill I was holding. It was about how I was moved by the caring compassion that so many people had expressed for me, a stranger. I paused for a moment and I thanked God for all of the people who touched my life and asked God to help me to have that kind of caring compassion in my life. Another act of Thanksgiving – prayer that opens our heart to not only appreciate the blessing, but moves us to share it through our life.
Give thanks, in word, thought and deed.