you learn a lot about people

One of the creative elements in our worship services this morning was a “Thanks For Everything” montage. We had everyone who was willing, make a 8.5 x 5.5 card expressing to God their gratitude. We distributed fall colored construction paper. I instructed them to write a narrative, a letter to God, a thank you card, and bullet list, anything they wanted. Just find a way to tell God the things for which we are thankful. It was very moving, very few dry eyes in the place.

This afternoon, I went back over to the church to clean up the leftover mess and remove the cards from the display boards. We did this exercise at all three of our services, so by the end of the day, there was quite a collection of cards.

I sat at my desk and read through them all. Part of me felt guilty for reading the notes since they were not written to me, but I couldn’t bear to just throw them away. Wow, what an important event this was for me. I was completely humbled by the simple yet profound expressions of true gratitude by the good people of Maranatha.

I saw several languages, beautiful art work, illegible writing, children’s drawings, scribbles from the shaky hands of senior citizens and origami. Some were in-depth explanations of full and grateful hearts, there were some that had only one word written on it. A few included prayer requests and hopes for things to turn around. There was not one cynical or hateful response; there is usually one in every crowd. I was amazed at how many of our people thanked God for the simple but important things of life – things like family, health and freedom. Many included houses, food and jobs. I was thoroughly impressed with the number of people who thanked God for His love, His acceptance, His forgiveness. It was expressed in many different ways, but it appears to me that the people who attend our church have a good handle on the concept of God’s grace. I was so encouraged to see that. It is easy, in my assessment of spiritual development of the people around me, to sell people short. There are times when I call into question the spiritual maturity of those who attend our church. Today, I was refreshed by what I saw.

It truly became a Thanksgiving Montage. The people of Maranatha are real artists. They (you) painted a beautiful portrait of gratitude. It was beautiful! Thank you.

You learn a lot about people when you hear them say “thank you”. I learned a lot today, some about the people I serve and some about myself.

I am grateful.

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