Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Saying Grace

My folks always taught me to say grace over my meals--to thank the Creator for his many blessings.  They were right to do that.  I am glad I learned this important lesson.  These days I still say grace but I also say thank you to those that made the meal possible and I pray that they will be blessed as well.

Breakfast today was nutritious, simple, tasty, easy to prepare:  a hot cup of tea, toast with peanut butter and jam.  And there was much to be grateful for.

Tea:  a gift from my friend who gave me the contents of her pantry when she moved out of town.

Peanut butter:  a gift from an acquaintance who also gave me pantry items when she moved.

Blueberry jam:  homemade by my sister who sent it as a birthday gift.

But there's more than you might think of right away.  I'm also grateful to:
  • My mother who bought the Dollar Store toaster and who gave me a bread-cutting knife that is still as sharp today as it was 20 years ago.
  • The person who donated the pretty pink plate to Goodwill where I was happy to find it.
  • The person who sold the lovely fabric napkin for just pennies at her yard sale.  And other yard sale people who sold silverware.
  • The friend who gave me the cute little bread-cutting board.
  • The people who buy my items on eBay so that I can earn money to put food on my table.
I am grateful, too, for the experience that allows me to be a fairly good bread baker.  And I'm grateful especially to the person who, in the early 1940's, sent her very special family bread recipe to be published in the newspaper--that is how it became my mother's very special family bread recipe, too (although our version makes 6 loaves rather than 24!).

The vital fact to remember is that we are blessed all the time by the works of the hands of other people.  We can't exist without them.  The people who grow the wheat, who plant the blueberry bushes, who mine the clay to make pottery or who mine ore to make silverware.  The people with creative minds who think of how to make these things, and the people with clever fingers that create them.  The people who drive the trucks, steer the ships, run the trains that deliver all of the various goods that we need and want.  The people who sell those goods, who bag, package, or mail them. 

No one, no matter how talented, creative, or determined, got here alone and no one can go on fully alone.

Life is an endless chain of goodness that we too often don't stop to think about.  Everything that you possess, each item that you use, the building you live in:  all of it is the product of the work of someone's hands. 

When I hear about people hating on one another for this difference or for that one, when I hear about people returning evil for good, when I hear about people attempting to fight anger with anger, I can only assume that they have never truly stopped to see the hands that are all reaching out toward them and that they have never been shown that there is so much to be grateful for.  You can't hate someone else without hating yourself as well.  We are all one, and we need one another.

Life is good.  We are truly blessed.
I hope that you will turn your blessings to kindness wherever you can.  The wheel turns; that kindness will come back to you tenfold.  Reach out your hands to the hands that are surely reaching out to you.

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