Did you see the 60 Minutes story from November 1, 2015 on “Heroin in the Heartland?” You can watch it on the internet. It focuses on Worthington.
In this season of Thanksgiving I was reminded of another 60 Minutes show from years ago. Presbyterian author Anne Lamott writes about it. It was about Lourdes, that French shrine, renowned for healing. Lamott writes: “Ed Bradley (was) interviewing a family of three who came to the shrine every year—a devoutly religious mother of about thirty, a much older father who could barely look at the camera and who couldn’t say one word because he was so terribly shy, and a little ten-year-old girl with spina bifida who was in a wheelchair. They came to Lourdes every single year, and Ed Bradley was kind of badgering the parents for being so gullible. He said to the little girl, who was so weak she had to be firmly strapped into the wheelchair, ‘What do you pray for when you come?’ and she said, looking at her father really lovingly, ‘I pray that my dad won’t always have to feel so shy. It makes him feel so lonely.’ Which stopped old Ed in his tracks for about ten seconds. But then he looked back at the mother and said something to the effect that ‘year after year, you spend thousands and thousands of dollars to come here, hoping for a miracle,’ and she just looked at her kid, shook her head, and said, ‘Oh no, Ed, you don’t get it—we GOT our miracle.’” (Ann Lamott, Operating Instructions, pp. 115-116. Fawcett Columbine: New York, 1993)
Sometimes I think the greatest challenge in life as disciples of Jesus Christ is simply to PAY ATTENTION. Like that mom, it is NOTICING the miracle. Being thankful for the miracle represented in the people God has put in our lives, the blessings we experience each day and yet all too often take for granted.
On the radio this morning National Public Radio did a story on the health benefits of being grateful. A doctor has started prescribing for his cardiac patients that they take time each day to write down two or three things they are grateful for. They can write a few sentences about them—or a few paragraphs—or a few pages. But he has found measurable health benefits from gratitude.
It’s a great spiritual practice for you and for me this Thanksgiving and beyond. Spend a few moments thinking about (and better yet writing about) a few things you are grateful for—miracles you don’t want to overlook. It will benefit you physically—and spiritually.
Have a happy Thanksgiving!