Defining Gratitude by Edith Neil
Gratitude…what exactly does that mean? I went to my dictionary for the official definition.
It reads as follows: “Being thankful, readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.” Some of the synonyms include thankfulness, appreciation, gratefulness and thanks.
I also wanted to see what the Bible has to say about gratitude and thankfulness. The Psalms are full of references to thankfulness. Psalm 50, “Offer unto God thanksgiving…” Psalm 95, “Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving…” Psalms 105, 106 and 107, “O give thanks until the Lord…” All are very meaningful, and fit right in to the dictionary definition.
One of the things I have noticed while walking around my neighborhood are the drawings hanging on fences, doors, and in windows thanking people for the bravery they are showing during this COVID-19 pandemic. There are hearts, rainbows, and other messages of support. I have seen many stories in the paper and on the news about these heroic people. These all touched my heart, and I wanted to make my own tribute to those people who are out there keeping the mail and groceries delivered, the police and firemen who are doing their jobs under difficult conditions, and the men and women who are still working in those businesses considered “essential.” Since I am a quilter, I made a small quilted red heart to put in my window. I live on the 5th floor of a condo building, and I don’t know if anyone has even noticed my efforts to honor these folks, but I know it is there and it gives me comfort and reminds me of how grateful I am for all the work they are doing.
I have been making cloth masks and donating them to one of my quilt guilds. My cousin Jackie is a nurse, and I know how much these are appreciated. She has some of the masks that I made, which gives me comfort knowing that this simple act of kindness can make a difference in the life of someone on the front line.
The highlight of my week is the Sunday morning church service. I am grateful that my church has the technology to be able to livestream the service on Sunday morning. While I miss being in the actual building, I can experience the warmth of our congregation, while watching the service online. And the music makes a joyous thing even better. Both John and Emma’s messages have been right on point and have given me the inspiration and insight into understanding God’s love for all of us.
A while ago, the women’s group read the book Proof of Heaven written by Dr. Eben Alexander. There were three lines in the book that really stood out for me. They were: “You are loved and cherished. You have nothing to fear. There is nothing you can do wrong.” Those words have stayed with me, and I have them posted on my refrigerator door. They remind me that God is always watching over me and that these difficult days shall pass and things will get better, and for that I am ever grateful.