Let the grateful one be me

Through prayer, it is possible to cultivate gratitude as a natural first response in every situation.

Many years ago when I was working for a public broadcasting station, part of my job was to find speakers for our pledge drives. We looked for guests who were comfortable chatting on air and could also inspire listeners to contribute. One guest always hit the mark, and this particular year she shared the story of the ten lepers from Luke 17 in the Bible (see vv. 12–19). She briefly explained that all of the lepers had been healed by Jesus but only one returned to give thanks. Then she invited all of the listeners that day to be that one. The response was remarkable, and we soon reached our pledge goals and finished the drive.

That message continues to resonate with me today: Be the one who follows through with gratitude.

Those ten lepers had been excluded from society for some time, as required by Judaic law, under which the next steps following their cure were inspection by the priests and sacrifice. The urgency with which those healed wished to fulfill that requirement and return to their families and communities may have closed their eyes to any action but that necessitated by law. Perhaps the excitement of returning to normalcy and the anticipation of being reunited with others outweighed giving gratitude for the healing.

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Thank you for inviting me
November 21, 2022

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