One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked Him--and he was a Samaritan. Luke 17:15-16
I was trained to write thank-you notes and pride myself in still doing so. My parents taught me to name the gift and tell why I liked it. Some required more creativity than others, but the message was the same: “You thought of me, you gave me something special, I am grateful.”
Despite my manners and education, my own thank you’s pale in comparison to the one I received recently from my 78-year-old friend in rural Mississippi. Miss Almeda never went to school beyond the eighth grade. Raised by her grandparents, she went to work cleaning houses at age 12. She has struggled all her life.
Today she lives on a too-small social security check and supports her sick brother. She is diabetic, blind in one eye, and has high blood pressure. But she has an exuberant faith and enthusiasm, despite life’s daily hardships.
In her letter, she told me she had been to the doctor and had no money left—not even change for Sunday school. Then she had opened her mail and found my gift. “I jumped and hollered, ‘Praise the Lord,’ all through the house. Christ used you to help me. Bless you.”
Lent is known for its somber and reflective mood. While quiet contemplation has its place, so too does jumping for joy. When I received Miss Almeda’s letter, I knew that my thank you’s to God needed a big boost. Some days I need to dance and holler “thank you” for Jesus, my Savior.
Prayer: Thank You, a thousand times thank You, O Generous Father! Amen.
Response: Write a thank-you letter to someone.
(Devotions from "Cross of Ashes" by Christine Weerts, a Lenten devotional provided by Lutheran Hour Ministries. Copyright 2005, Int'l LLL. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend.)