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Being thankful in midst of ruins

POSTED: September 30, 2009 4:00 a.m.

“I really feel blessed,” a sister-in-law said while reviewing for us the situation in her flooded home in Gwinnett County.

  

“After all, the carpet can be replaced and a clean-up and restoration company is already busy fixing other damages.”

  

Of course, it is costing money from her savings and will cost more as she moves back into her “normal” life. But she reminds us of all the others who have lost their entire homes and their material possessions in them, most of whom, like her, had no flood insurance. “How can I look at them and still pity myself?”

  

She is right, and her family and friends are proud of her and share her sentiments. Multiply that thankfulness by hundreds who are grateful for lives spared and for friends and strangers who came to their rescue. Then the picture is not so bleak.

  

Sometimes it is in the midst of trouble that we find the best reasons for rejoicing. As I read my Christian publications, I am made particularly aware of that fact. One article tells of two ladies in a nursing home; both had been pianists; both had suffered strokes, one left with a paralyzed right arm, the other a left. You guessed it; they learned to play the piano together, each using her good arm.

  

It is not easy to face difficult realities and we do not need to look far to find plenty of them to face.

  

Recognizing those realities, however, is necessary to being able to take action.

  

Referring again to my Christian faith, I remember that Jesus often paired healing with a command to “go and do.” In other words, while believers should certainly rely on God, we are admonished to behave as the Good Samaritan did by doing something helpful for others and for ourselves.

  

Already my mailbox is flooded with requests for donations to dozens of worthy causes. That’s always true as Thanksgiving and Christmas approach, and this year the needs are particularly pressing. It is impossible for me to contribute to everything I’d like to support, but I can be thankful that even my small contributions may bring hope and joy to some of those who are lacking in both.

  

Perhaps you can ask, with me, which ruins can you help to improve? Which load to lighten?

   

Helen Taylor’s column appears periodically in the Dawson Community News.

 

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