Every morning I stop in at my local donut shop for a hot cup of heaven. Yesterday morning I began talking to the man behind the counter. You know him. He’s the one that always remembers how many sugars you like and is generous with his smiles and donuts. He’s the one that looks old and young all at the same time.
I was surprised to find out that he’s alone here, supporting a family in another country thousands of miles away; A country filled with internal strife and poverty. He smiles and says, “My youngest will visit this summer.” Pride enhances his smile when he boasts of his daughters, now in medical school. There were so many questions I wanted to ask him, but his eyes said it all.
Which got me thinking - the reason I’m not on the other side of that counter missing my family on the other side of the world has little to do with making proper choices. He was born into a slew of struggles I’ll never have to overcome, and some I’ll never even comprehend. Sure, we all have our battles and I carry my wounds like metals of honor. But hearing his story makes me remember how unfair life can be and how strong the human spirit is.
Which leads me to the Joan Baez song lyrics stuck in my mind this morning, “There but for furtune go you and I." or, "There but for the grace of God go I."
Peeking into the rooms of my sleeping children, soft down blankets wrapped around their warm bodies, I’m thankful. What am I thankful for? Grace.
What are you thankful for?