Ephesians 5:19-20: “Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Tom Schmidt visited a nursing home once or twice a week. Not a task most of us would like to do. Schmidt related that one day he went down a hallway he normally did not go down. He said that sometimes the worst cases are those who sit in wheelchairs out in the hall. Many are not able to function. He was giving people flowers who were able to hold them. He noticed one woman who looked the worst of all. He could tell by her blank stare that she was blind. She had a thick hearing aid on so he knew she could barely hear. Worst of all cancer had eaten away a good portion of her face deforming her appearance so that she looked repulsive. Constant drooling from her drooping mouth strung and dripped down her face onto her chest. He said that he bent down and put a flower in her hand and said, “Happy Mother’s Day.” Her response, though garbled, revealed a very keen mind. She said, “Thank you very much. It’s lovely. But do you mind if I give it to someone else because I’m blind and I can’t see it?” Schmidt said that he wheeled her down the hallway to a section where the people were more alert. As she stretched the flower out for someone to take she said, “This is from Jesus.”
He said, “I knew right then that this was no ordinary human being. So, every time I came back, sometimes once or twice a week, I would visit with her. I learned that her name was Mabel. She grew up and remained single living with her mother on a farm. Her mother died. Then she became blind and she had to be put in a home where cancer threatened her life. She lived with a roommate that was a human vegetable. Her existence was horrible. But I also learned that she really knew the Lord. I’d try and read scripture and she would go on and quote the rest of the verse. Or sometimes she would sing hymns. She had been there for twenty-five years. She was eighty-nine years old. I asked her one day, “Mabel, what do you think about all day long?” She said, “Well, I just think about my Jesus.” Schmidt said, “I would have a hard time thinking about Jesus five minutes in a row and she thinks about him all day long.” He then asked, “What do you think about him?” She said, “Well, I just think about how good he has been to me. He’s been awful good to me, you know. Jesus, in fact, is all the world to me.” Then she began to sing, “My life, my joy, my all. He is my strength from day to day. Without Him I would fall. When I am sad, to Him I go. No other one can cheer me so. When I am sad, He makes me glad. He’s my friend.”
Schmidt said, “This lady was not denying reality. Her personality, once you got beyond the physical, was so attractive because she lived the life of gratitude.” (Adapted from The Life You Always Wanted by John Ortburg)
Gratitude can transform you. Gratitude is not a feeling but a choice. It is the lens through which we see our world. Look through the lens of gratitude this Thanksgiving and see how an attitude of gratitude can change you.