“I’m blessed!” she said, adding cream to her coffee.
A smile warmed her face in direct contradiction to the frigid 27° temperature that she had just escaped through the doors of Grace UMC. But her acknowledgement wasn’t contingent upon the hot coffee she gratefully sipped nor upon being warm again on a cold morning nor even upon the smell of bacon and eggs about to be served to her and 100 other folks on this Tuesday morning.
“I’m blessed any day the Lord sees fit to wake me up!” she said.
“You got that right!” I said, smiling back as she went to find a seat.
I agreed with several others that morning—some in tattered clothing—who echoed her sentiments of blessing and gratitude, but I also wondered, if our roles were reversed, would I be able to see God’s goodness in spite of my circumstances? After all, I didn’t just spend the night in a tent or under an overpass, and in 2 hours I would start my fulfilling job, not start trying to find one.
Most of us have more than we could possibly want or need, and that’s why we are surprised by such a bold statement of gratitude. When we have more than we need, we can forget to be grateful for the little things that make life possible. Maybe that’s why Jesus said:
“What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.” (Matt. 6:31-33, The Message)
Finished with breakfast, she refilled her coffee cup and prepared to head back out into the cold. Her face beamed as she said, “You have a blessed day!”
I looked up from wiping the table and thought: Thanks to you, I already have.