He Stopped in His Tracks
By Evie Kalvelage of Independence, MO, USA
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. —1 Timothy 2:1–2 NRSV, adapted
My husband and I were at the hospital for one of his two-hour treatments. I left him in the care of the nurses and trudged down the hallway to the business office to sort out a billing question. I spotted a doctor who had treated my husband briefly for a rare side effect the year before. As we passed each other, I felt a strong urge to thank him for his efforts. I couldn’t imagine this doctor could possibly remember us, but I wanted to express my gratitude.
He stopped in his tracks and asked my name and the circumstances. His eyes brightened and he told me he did recall my husband’s health concerns, adding a few details which make me believe his sincerity. He asked how Doug was doing. I briefed him on the difficulties that had occurred since then. He told me how sorry he was. He held my hand a long moment after he shook it, wished Doug well, and thanked me for stopping to talk to him. It deeply touched me to feel a Christ-like spirit from a busy doctor.
Christ’s call to be thankful in everything is a good lesson. Finding small treasures in difficult times gives glimpses of the importance of how random people placed in our paths can inspire, comfort, and bring joy. I pray I am fully aware and ready to respond.
Prayer for Peace
Generous God, help us to never set aside our urge to thank someone. Each of us needs affirmation. Help us follow our peacemaking urges. Each of us needs peace.
Spiritual Practice: Joy of Gratitude
Stand, if possible, with arms outstretched. Imagine God filling your arms with all that you have: family, friends, and possessions. Hold out your arms until they feel tired. Now, bring your arms across your body. Place your hand over your heart and thank God for the goodness that fills your life. Sit for a time aware of God’s grace. Then ask God to help you open your heart in gratitude and share freely with others.
Today, God, I will try to get in the last word…“Thank you.”