“Thank you.” No more valuable words were ever spoken. So simple, yet so profound.
Marti recently met for lunch with a well-known author and researcher who began their conversation by thanking her. Marti recalls being completely unsettled by this. The surprising thing is that she doesn’t even remember what he thanked her for now — it really didn’t matter — it was the mere fact that he was thanking her, and what that did for her, that mattered.
What does “Thank you” say that makes such a difference? It says many things. It says:
I notice you.
You are a contributor to my life.
I came here to meet you. If you came to meet me, that’s fine, but that’s not why I’m here. I’m here to meet you, and I consider it a privilege that you took the effort and the time to get here. “Thank you.”
You have enriched me; you have made me a better person.
You are a valuable asset to the kingdom of God.
You touched me.
You are important.
Saying “Thank you” means all of this and more. It also brings us out of isolation. It connects us to something bigger than ourselves. It is humbling, because it turns the focus away from us and onto someone else.
“Thank you” makes you vulnerable to all sorts of other human emotions. It opens you up. It says you can’t do it on your own. It connects you with others and it connects you with the universe. It’s humbling, because it says you have needs — you have holes in your life and your character that need to be filled. You are not self-sufficient. “Thank you. You gave me something I did not have before.”
“Thank you” puts you below or equal to, but certainly never higher than someone else, and this is in keeping with those who are carriers of the message of Grace Turned Outward. Grace Turned Outward is never Grace Turned Downward. You never hand down grace. That’s because grace, to be fully understood, comes to us when we are down. There is no one below you when you receive the grace of God, and since we receive the grace of God daily, there should never ever be anyone below us. That’s why it is grace turned out. There’s no other place for grace to go except out and up.
Jesus once had ten lepers call out to Him for mercy. Jesus told them to go present themselves to the temple priests, and as they were going, they were all healed of their leprosy. “Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered and said, ‘Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine—where are they? Was no one found who returned to give glory to God, except this foreigner’?” (Luke 17:15-18) I guess not. The others were not able to see beyond themselves to even say, “Thank you.”
Saying “Thank you” is so important when everything we have comes from God and nothing comes from us. “Thank you” is a way of life.
Thanks for the note and the reminder!
You’re welcome, indeed!
Thank you, I love you, and I’m sorry are such powerful phrases. It’s hard to say any of them w/o having deep meaning behind it.
“Spot on,” John
Where are the other nine? Before we try to answer that, we cannot conveniently put them in the category of “unbelievers” or “non-Christians” and say they were just ungrateful heathens or whatever. They had the faith to come to Jesus and ask for mercy. Then they received a healing. It’s hard to not believe in Jesus after He miraculously healed your leprosy. So why didn’t they come back to say thank you?
Being a leper must be very debilitating. There was so much they could not do. Once they realized they were set free to do all those things…off they went. I guess the moral of the story is that 9 out of 10 Christians don’t thank God enough. While I hope that statistic isn’t always the case, it does raise a sobering question. Are the majority of believers thankful enough to God for all He has done for us?
I’m with. you. I think they were too into themselves and what they were going to do next now that they were healed. Too into themselves to see the miracle.
John Fagliano’s reply reminded me of the following Devotional (below).
Thank you John… and John!!! 🙂
Imagine for a moment that you have gone for hike on a nice summer morning. The sun is out, the sky is clear, and you set out on your path. Now imagine that during the hike, you make a wrong turn and become lost. Morning has turned to noon and the sun is blaring. Your water is long gone, your mouth is parched, and your strength is waning. Finally, you find your way back to civilization and make a beeline for the nearest source of water. “Thank you, Lord!” you say as you gulp down the water. Water never tasted that good!
Now contrast that experience with one that we encounter almost every day. Water is all around us – from the sink, the water dispenser, in fancy bottles. Water now comes in dozens of flavors and can be fortified with vitamins. And you know what? Most people take it completely for granted. Big deal, water is everywhere.
Isn’t it ironic? The more we have of something, the less we appreciate it. When we lack something and then we receive it — even if it’s only a small amount — we overflow with gratitude. But when we have something in abundance, our tendency is to overlook the blessings.
Since the reign of King David, it has been the Jewish tradition to recite at least 100 blessings a day… carefully maintaining a state of gratitude.
Everything, from the food we eat, to our physical abilities, to the people in our lives, is a blessing from God.
Take the 100 blessing challenge:
Can you find 100 things to be grateful about today?
(And, then every day afterwards?)
Let us bless others, and in so doing, be blessed.
Excerpted from Holy Land Moments Daily Devotionals “One Hundred Blessings”