Here's this week's "Opening the Bible" blog entry for i.ucc.org:
My partner of 20+ years loves to hear those three little words from me. She wants to know that the things that brought us together at the beginning either still exist or have grown into something that is even better. I understand that by saying those three little words, I acknowledge that we share something together that brings meaning to each of our lives.
Those three little words?
“I appreciate you.”
What? You were thinking something else?
In reality, those three little words aren’t enough. Over the last 20+ years I’ve learned that gratitude is something my partner really . . . appreciates. Simply saying, ‘Thank you” or ‘I appreciate you’ as a way to move onto the next conversation or event in our lives doesn’t cut it. I’ve learned that genuine, gushing, deep gratitude is the kind that really reaches her.
In this week’s Bible reading from Luke 17:11-19, Jesus healed 10 lepers. He instructed them to show themselves to a priest to prove that they were healed. 9 of them did exactly that – or at least that is the assumption. One of them, an outcast among outcasts, was overcome with gratitude and came back – with deep and gushing gratitude, to say “Thank you!”
Did the 9 who followed instructions do it wrong? They just did what they were told to do. Right? Couldn’t they have been showing their thanks by doing what was asked of them?
There must be something more here than is right at the surface. (There always is, isn’t there?)
I think this story of healing teaches us that there is something better that God desires from us than simply following the rules. There is something better that God desires for us than knowing God loves us and then going about our lives as normal.
- What is it that God has done in our lives that we are ready to really gush about?
- Why do we seem to instead try to move onto the “next thing” with a short, shallow ‘Thank you’ instead?