Tuesday, March 31, 2009

thankfulness revisited ...

just sharing a post from march of 2007 ... i need to be reminded of the message of thankfulness ... just sharing with you all too ...


i am reading a REALLY marvellous book called the Holy Wild ... it is written by a pastor from B.C., mark buchanan ... this book was a gift from "the other saija" (who found me via this blog) ...

i just wanted to share this one story - an example of mark's excellent writing - very very readable and it hits home to my heart ... he makes a point about thankfulness ...

page 106 - 107 from the Holy Wild

I was in Uganda, Africa about a dozen years ago, in a little township called Wairaka. Every Sunday evening, about one hundred Christians from the neighboring area would gather to worship. They met at the edge of a cornfield, under a lean-to with a rusty tin roof that cracked like gunfire when it rained. They sat - when they did sit - on rough wood benches. The floor was dirt. The band's instruments were old or handmade - bruised, scratched guitars with corroded strings and necks that had warped in the humidity; a plinky electric piano plugged into a crackling speaker; shakers made of tin cans and stones. All of it kept straying out of tune.

One Sunday evening, I was too sour to join in. The music sounded squawky, I was miffed at someone on our missions team, I found the food bland, tasteless. I was feeling deprived and misunderstood. I found the joy of others hollow, mustered-up. I was miserable, and I wanted to wallow in it.

The pastor asked if anyone had anything to share. Many people wanted to, but a tall, willowy woman in the back row danced and shouted loudest, so he called her forward. She came twirling her long limbs, trilling out praise.

"Oh, brothers and sisters, I love Jesus so much," she said.

"Tell us, sister! Tell us!" the Ugandans shouted back.

"Oh, I love Him so much, I don't know where to begin. He is so good to me. Where do I begin to tell you how good He is to me?"

"Begin there, sister! Begin right there!"

"Oh," she said, "He is so good. I praise Him all the time for how good He is. For three months, I prayed to Him for shoes, And look!" And with that the woman cocked up her leg so that we could see one foot. One very ordinary shoe covered it, "He gave me shoes."

The Ugandans went wild. They clapped, they cheered, they whistled, they yelled.

But not me. I was devastated. I sat there broken and grieving. In an instant, God snapped me out of my self-pity and plunged me into repentance. In all my life, I had not once prayed for shoes. It never even crossed my mind. And in all my life, I had not even once thanked God for the many, many shoes I had.

Thanklessness becomes its own prison. Persisted in, it becomes its own hell, where there is outer darkness and gnashing of teeth. Thanklessness is the place God doesn't dwell, the place that, if we inhabit it too often, He turns us over to. "See to it that no one misses the grace of God," Hebrews says, "and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many." Thanklessness troubles and defiles many, because first it troubles and defiles the one in whom bitterness takes root.

end of quote

this book is so well written that i am reading it like a novel ... rather than a study book ... his writing is full of images that make me think, pray, repent and rejoice!




13 comments:

Mari said...

I'm so glad you repeated this one, because I wasn't reading blogs when you first posted it - it is such a good reminder!

Felisol said...

Dear Saija,
I am reading the history of the Norwegian small farmers and "Housemen" these days.
I'm struck by the way our society has changed for the better, materially spoken, but that spiritually we are poorer than ever.
Thanklessness is maybe only its first name.
Makes me feel so ashamed on my own behalf.
From Felisol

PS You are still in my prayers, all of you.

Cathy said...

Wow, that is really something, Saija. We should be very thankful for all that we have. Thanks for sharing that.

auntibeck said...

Love this story...praying for Maria...

daisymarie said...

I REALLY liked Buchanan's "You're God is too Safe." Made quite an impact on me. I've wanted to read this one, too.

Catherine said...

What a great story! I don't think I saw that one when you first posted it, so I am also glad you posted it again. We tend to take so many things for granted because they seem so natural to us and we've never had to do without them. Electricity and plumbing in our homes, food in our refrigerators, clothes and shoes in our closets, etc. We forget how many people around the world don't have these things.

**hugs**

Amrita said...

That really gripped my heart Saija

I have so much to thank God fpr.

Gavin said...

Hi Saija,

I'm back on the air! But I hope to go off the air again soon. The ketamine infusion is coming up soon. My pain Doc promised it would be very soon

Gavin

grammy said...

I enjoyed your paper boy post and todays about rejoicing about shoes. We are so spoiled! I need to find that book. My daughters BD is coming and she enjoys books like that. I do too, but sometimes i get stuck in my fiction and can't get my head out. Glad Maria is getting to have visitors.

MeMaw said...

That's one powerful story! Love the picture of the feet and shoes!

Nancy said...

That truly is powerful, we have so much to be thankful for and we take so much for granted.. Thanks for this it hit home!!

Susan said...

Your posts are always moving and right on.
Susan

Sita said...

May I always have a heart of gratitude ...
Saija, I was at a Writers Conference several years ago where Mark Buchanan won the award that year..and I got to hear him speak..pretty awesome..my pastor is on sabbatical right now and is presently reading one of his books...anyway..thanks for this repeat...never got to read the first one...blessings..
Sita