"One of them when he saw he was healed came back, praising God in a loud voice. ,
He threw himself at Jesus feet and thanked him."
The power of a grateful heart has pressed into me several times today.
I spent the morning helping at the milk clinic here at the orphanage. The milk clinic is a ministry to those in the area that are unable to provide milk or formula for children in their care. Perhaps the child's mother passed away or they are simply unable to feed the baby due to sickness or poverty; despite the reason, parents and caregivers can come to the clinic for help. Offered every other week, the clinic weighs the child, offers a brief medical assessment, provides clean clothing as needed, milk or formula for the child, and sometimes food for the family. Late morning, we wrapped up our time in the clinic and started to head back to the main house. A young woman with a small boy stopped us. The clinic had cared for the boy as a baby, probably saving him from becoming another statistic of infant death in a third world country. As they explained their story, we realized they weren't there for food or free clothing. They had come back to simply say thank you.
After a yummy lunch for which I was thankful, we hosted the Christmas party for the children. True thankfulness and generosity glowed in the eyes of many of the children as they opened their shoeboxes. After the presents were stowed away under their bunks, the party ended with a special treat of popcorn and chocolate cake. As three of the girls sat eating, they kept telling Poppy, their affectionate name for the husband half of the couple who runs the orphanage, "Thank you too much!"
A third story of the day, a third story of thankfulness. Between the clinic and the party, Jennifer, or Mommy, had the blessing of cutting a little girl's hair. This may seem like more of a chore than a blessing but this particular haircut removed a certain type of dreadlocks which symbolized her family's involvement in voodoo. Her parents accepted Christ several months ago and, after months of spiritual growth and teaching, were ready to have the dreads removed. The message of God's salvation and the possibility of transformation is the greatest reason for our thankfulness.
We easily develop an attitude of expectation rather than gratitude in a life of ease and abundance. When we experience need at the life-or-death level, gratitude flows much more easily. Especially when the life or death is spiritual.