Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Gratitude

Gratitude comes from some place deeper than mouthing the words “thank you”



I penned this poem thinking of gratitude, which is a grace that runs much deeper than the socially-expected etiquette that surrounds “giving thanks.”  As important as it is to celebrate Thanksgiving and to take up the practice of saying “thank you,” finding gratitude reverberating authentically in one’s heart is the surpassing gift.  I hope you experience and express it this season.

Thanksgiving doesn’t live in a vacuum;
We do not pluck it from thin air.
We cannot be grateful on command,
Genuflecting at the drop of hat.

Talk is cheap when it comes to thanking,
Yet beyond courteous etiquette
Lies a deeper reality that beckons,
Inviting us to reckon with grace.

Native American graciousness
And Pilgrim hospitality,
Turkey and all the trimmings point
Beyond finely folded, praying hands.

Through and beyond these images
We glimpse a sacred connection,
As generations across time
Hail some gracious provision.

It’s not so much a debt we owe
Or tribute for posterity
As it is a virtue we receive
And reflect into eternity.

We deep-down know we are held
By sustaining, life-giving hands.
Not our own or on our own,
We belong and are lovingly known.

We cannot utter such mystery--
Tradition and rite fall short;
But these, and we, can point and say
“Thanks” for life and grace today.

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