Gratitude! I read a pithy saying recently on Facebook or Twitter, I can’t remember which, that said, joy comes from a heart full of gratitude. When we really feel grateful, we understand the truth of such a statement. We feel joy when we truly feel thankful.
This past week our community came together to help a neighbor in need. This young woman has been diagnosed with cancer. She has a loving husband and two small children. She has to travel out of state for the special treatments that she needs. She had to take a leave from her job. Her needs and concerns are great.
Under the very dedicated leadership of another young woman in our church family, each year we raise money for our building fund through a chicken tender meal and auction. This young woman, along with many others in the community, decided to organize a fundraising event to help pay expenses for this family.
As soon as the fundraiser was announced the whole community started coming together to help. The outpouring of love, the many hours and donations and sacrifices, reached farther than we could have imagined. Countless people rushed to help and participate and spend their money in support. An amazing amount of money was raised.
I know this family is grateful. In the midst of a terrible diagnosis and ongoing painful treatment, this community has given them some joy. This joy comes from the gratitude of seeing how much others care.
And it serves as a reminder that we have the privilege of spreading joy ourselves. When we offer real help and time and sympathy, we foster thankfulness. We spread joy. I saw another Facebook post that said something like: What if we replace the phrase, ‘Call me if I can do anything?’ with the phrase, ‘What time can I come over and do your laundry?’ Maybe you’re not quite ready to go there, but that kind of concrete help is what people need in times of crisis.
And when we do that, we spread joy. And I suspect, we find some gratitude and joy for ourselves too.
Love in Christ,
Greg Burriss, Pastor
Rocky River Baptist Church
Siler City, NC