Thanks and Then Some
Today in group we were going to do some "Thanksgiving" work before diving into our next logos theme from the Prologue of John. The thanks ate up the Word, though, and time did its thing of fleeing, until there wasn't space for anything but thanks.
We paired off and shared some things for which we are grateful.
This thanking, honoring, appreciating, being grateful, is such a huge potential part of life, or even the whole of a good life, grace for grace. We tried to open to unusual, less-thought-of objects of gratitude to test its reach.
We told each other of things that we once borrowed, when we were grateful for the loan.
We told each other about difficult times that nevertheless presented opportunities to.... opportunities to do whatever. And we found ourselves grateful for the opportunity in the very midst of the disaster.
We spoke to one another about things we'd lost, and we were grateful for those things, maybe mourning a person, a relationship, a landscape, a time.
Finally in each pair of people we shared aloud at least one thing for which we are now grateful and that we know we will lose --- like this moment, like each other, like health, like life.
In group-wide discussion, it turned out that we had noticed some things about thanking.
One: As you practice thanking, it turns out the world, or your life, is jammed, packed, bursting with things for which you have been, are, and could be grateful. Anything you notice becomes an object of gratitude or a stimulus, as Brother David says, to find the gracious opportunity within it. I've been told that saliva breaks down almost any food to release its sugars, so that things held in the mouth tend sweet.
Two: Fear and Thanks have a reciprocal relationship. You can't be simultaneously thankful and afraid. Fear is almost death; the breath of thanksgiving returns us to life.
Three: What brought most of us to tears, in our pairs, was the thought of people. No thing, no situation, no consideration quite speaks to the heart like the interpersonal life of the human being, which always includes the loss of the human being. Robert Lowell: Nothing else has the moral sweetness of love.
We ended with a special, in this group unique, "sharing of the merit": we sent it to Sandy Noyes, who was having shoulder surgery during the group meeting.
Next week, the second verse of the Prologue: "This was in beginning with God." What is this "this'?
all blessings to all,