Thankfulness: Goodness in the Margins

There are days when the important things, the resolved upon things, by necessity get squeezed into the margins, in between the white noise of other’s misunderstandings and your inadequacies.

Yet what I realized today is that any goodness in life–no matter how small their sliver of real estate may be–is to be treasured. I’m become more greatly aware that much of Jesus’ teaching about the kingdom of God comes in response to the Pharisee’s or the disciple’s grumbling.  In contrast, Jesus emphasizes the essential qualities of joy and gratitude that mark His kingdom. The question for me–and you:  Is my life life marked by joy and gratitude…or grumbling?

Could it be that on days on like today, when goodness seems relegated to margins space that those margins can become pillars of hope to steady and strengthen the complicated middle ground? I think they can if we pause long enough to examine what is in our margins and to be grateful that goodness can be found there.

I’ve looked in my margins and here is what I found today for which I am thankful:

1. The wisdom of my husband.

2. Friends–the silly ones, wise ones, resilient ones…all of them faithful ones.

3. The many people who ask me about my mom and tell me they are praying for her.  There is nothing…absolutely nothing…sweeter than those who willingly carry your burdens with you.

4. My sister telling me about where everyone is going to sleep when we go to visit at Christmas…it’s so far away, but it’s important to her and so she’s being thoughtful.  That makes my heart smile.

5. Tape and glue and needle and thread.  Today was the day of breaking things and fixing things.   I’m so grateful that when some things seem unfixable, there are many others that can be mended and repair.  I am thankful for all kinds of “fixes”–oh, but I do love me a quick fix!

Even if today was a tough day for you, examine closely the margins of life and drag out all those evidences of God’s powerful work, His tender mercies, and His gracious steadfastness.  Let the kingdom of joy and gratitude take up more space tomorrow than it did today.

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