Can I just go on record to say that I really do not like the ‘new, improved posting experience’ on WordPress? In fact, I really, really dislike it. Twice I have written posts and twice they have been erased in an accidental click of the mouse-and there’s no autosave. Why would you get rid of autosave? It takes me a good, long time to craft a post and when it disappears in the click of a button, it fills me with acute frustration. Please bring back autosave.
Ok. So that had NOTHING to do with gratitude…in fact, I feel quite the opposite when I write and post and it disappears…but I do love the story of the ten lepers and the powerful lesson in gratitude that it teaches us. It’s found in the gospel of Luke . Most are familiar with the story. Jesus is headed to Jerusalem and is passing through the villages along the way. As he enters a certain village, ten lepers meet him with the request, “Master, have mercy on us”. As far as I can tell, Jesus never turns down a request for mercy. At the point of mercy, sometimes Jesus lays hands on individuals and heals them directly and sometimes He gives them instructions to follow. This is an instruction story. He tells the lepers to go see the priests-he turns their attention to the local authorities-but in the process of their obedience, they are healed. (That’s interesting, isn’t it? VERY often it’s the process that heals us; the learning to step in obedience and the destination is simply there to engage us in the process and to lay out the particular path of obedience.) Anyway, upon noticing their healing, nine lepers run…who knows where? Home? To the priests? Back to the leper colony? We don’t know where they went. I am confident that they were happy and wanting to share their amazing news. Sharing good news, a miracle-no less, is not a bad thing and I believe would be the natural reaction of most of us. Therefore, I am grateful for the one that did the something different; because without his story I don’t know that I would ever learn the power of stopping and thanking God first. This story comes to mind every time I find a lost key or remember a vital to-do. It is my go-to when I pray fervently for a child and then they make a really great personal decision. Without this story I would chalk up a lot of my life to very convenient coincidences. “Well, wasn’t that nice…my leprosy disappeared on the way to the priest’s home? Well, ok. I guess I don’t need anything anymore…” What the returning one teaches us is to PAUSE. Remember the request. Recognize the gift or recognize the answer or recognize the miracle. THEN go to the Giver of the Gift and render proper gratitude. THEN go and share…unless of course, He asks you not to share and then you have to keep it to yourself as a sacred memory.
This story is SOOOOO important for us in our modern mindset of instant gratification. PAUSE is a lost art except in the event of watching something on a screen. Learning to pause (or STAND STILL! a shameless plug) is vital to spiritual survival. And like a matryoshka doll, another gift is awaiting those willing to pause. This to me is the most powerful part of the story, for when the leper returned to fall at Jesus’ feet in gratitude, Jesus said:
‘Arise go thy way: they faith hath made thee whole’
This grateful man received additional healing- spiritual healing, emotional healing, whole healing. Through his faith in Jesus Christ and through his willingness to act in gratitude, he received even more healing-the kind that we all need. For me, this is a compelling enough reason to pause and give thanks. Simple gratitude for all of the answered prayers can lead me to much needed healing? I’m in.