Occasionally I'm reminded of a conversation I had with a friend when our children were very young. She'd recently been with some other mothers, and while changing her baby's diaper, she casually commented that she sure would be happy when her son was potty trained and poopy diapers were a thing of the past. One of the other mothers responded with something like, ''Just be grateful for poopy diapers. My son was born with no colon, and I'd give anything to be in your shoes...'' Needless to say, my friend had an immediate change of perspective, and I, years later, still think about that mom and her child.
If there is any time of year that especially invites us to look for the ways that grace touches our lives, it is the holiday season. Most of us probably have the usual things to be grateful for: loved ones, our health, our home, a good teacher for our children, a dependable income... the list goes on and on. Yet, as I write this letter and expand my awareness beyond my own small world, I am struck by some of the things that someone at this very moment, somewhere on this planet, is grateful for. That rocket shelling that just missed her family’s apartment in Baghdad, the good news that so far the bird flu hasn't come to his village and wiped out their livelihood, or the 8-year-old boy in the Sudan who somehow escaped being kidnapped and put to work as a child soldier.
No, most of us don't have such dramatic things to be thankful for, but it still does the heart good to have gratitude. My wish for you this season is that you find much to appreciate -- even if it's only a poopy diaper.