It's Thankful Tuesday.
For the last week, I've been capturing pictures in my mind, sweet moments I wanted to share with you and be thankful for having experienced. Children reciting memory verses. Little boys in astronaut suits. 5 year old birthday parties. Father's Day brunch with my Daddy and my church family. Rainy swim celebrations. New music. Homemade pizza. Shared laughter with good friends.
Good, rich, blessed graces.
Then, I received news from a precious lifelong friend. Her dad, a man I have known and loved dearly for a very long time, is sick. The cancer is far more aggressive than any of us dreamed, and the battle for his life will be straight up a steep hill. My heart has not stopped aching. At first there were messy streaks of black mascara mixed with my salty tears, but eventually there was no mascara left, just tears. I went to bed with a headache and a heavy heart and woke 8 hours later feeling as though I'd never slept.
And then I saw the calendar. Tuesday. Oh,God, how can I be thankful today? I hurt. I just hurt.
Yesterday, before receiving this news, I heard about someone who has more or less allowed anger and disappointment over the death of a friend wreck his walk with the Lord, then his marriage, and his life. All I could think was how much that friend he's been grieving, whose death he's blamed for all his anger, would hate what he's done.
If I refuse to be thankful today, am I any different? If, in the midst of a broken heart, I refuse to praise God and proclaim His goodness in all things, I do great disservice to Mr. Harry, his life and his testimony. He's laying in a hospital bed, gathered with his family, singing hymns, telling doctors and nurses about the God who saves, asking strangers if their eternity is secure. How can I not be thankful?
So, today, with tears streaming down my face for the umpteenth time in the last 24 hours, I am thankful. I am thankful that 17 years ago, I met Mr. Harry and we bonded over a mutual excitement for his daughter's new found faith in Jesus. I'm thankful that as a senior in high school, Mr. Harry gave me a job and in so doing, invited me into his home and his family. I'm thankful that for all these years Mr. Harry has never stopped pulling me into crushing bear hugs when I see him. I'm thankful for every time Mr. Harry has promised me with a twinkle in his eye and a grin on his face that he was still praying for "some dumb boy somewhere to wise up."
And, while I hate this sickness, I am thankful for every person who will hear the gospel and see the faithful testimony of one who knows this earth is not his final home. For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
On repeat: Lord, I Need You.