The season of gratitude is upon us, not that it shouldn’t be my practice, daily, hourly, and moment by moment! I love seeing the lists that people are sharing, of the people, places and events that fill them with gratitude! But my call this year is to pay attention to immaterial abundance that surrounds me. I am so aware that I can easily fill up a list of the tangible things that are mine due to privilege and location. But this year I am wanting to celebrate the “things unseen,” that are really just gifts of Grace.
Our local coffee shop, in anticipation for the high volume holiday season, began several weeks ago to serve their orders with cardboard sleeves that said: “GRATEFUL for _______.” Since getting a morning shot of caffeine (decaf) is part of our morning ritual, I began filling them out, day by day. The shop has since replaces the sleeves with more festive cups of color and variety, but the manager gave me the extra sleeves, which I have been filling out day by day, sometimes more than once!
Here are some of the things that have prompted my Spirit so far
- air to breathe
- baby noises
- human and animal connections
- access to water
- ministry of many kinds
- affirmations from anyone, far and wide
- neighbors–many races, many temperaments, many histories
- music of all sorts
- words, fitly written and spoken
- healing over time, or in the moment
- long-time friends and acquaintances
- humor and laughter
- memory AND forgetfulness
- spiritual spark between people
I could go on and on, I think, and will do so in my prayerful heart through the season.
I will confess that I have to stop, wait and ponder on some days for “things unseen.” It is much easier for me to look around at what is immediate and palpable and to offer thanks for that. However, especially in the night seasons, I am most aware that the goodness that surrounds me is much deeper than just those tangible things. I believe in the Presence of the Holy One that is intricately involved in all of Life. I believe in the Spirit of Christ that hovers over creation, all that is in it, that is at work in all of the events of human endeavor, whether or not I can apprehend it easily. I believe that the Darkness, whether incarnate evil or just the Great Grayness, cannot extinguish the Light. And so for these Blessings, Unseen, I am grateful today, for this season, and all the days left to me in my life!