I think un-noticing may be a great sin in my own life. I miss the blessing of moments. I wrap up whole days without observing the natural beauty of them. I busy and entertain myself right to bed and the next thing I know it’s Christmas already, New Year’s next, and what of all my summer plans?
But to others, to the downcast and persecuted and depressed, un-noticing may be the only strength they carry. Unseeing might be unfeeling for today, and that might be grace enough.
Truly, it’s a weary world.
I know there is suffering that is unspeakable and seemingly unbearable. I know that, indeed, God does give us more than we can handle, in order to show His perfect strength in our weakness. And we have shoulders that stoop and eyes that fall and some of us have burdens that push us in that spot between our shoulder blades, that spot where we are vulnerable and already hunched, and we trudge on, face down, feet dragging.
We are weary in this world, Lord.
I can’t even watch the news. I can’t sit in my recliner and listen to one-liners about wars on terror, wars on our streets, and dollars down the drain.
I am sickened and cynical, then. I am the scrooge who was meant to carry hope, but I am weary of this world, Jesus.
It’s hard to account for frivolous thank-yous offered, for things like a good cup of coffee, jeans that fit well, parking spots up front and a sale on our favorite ice cream. It’s hard to swallow gratitude so shallow.
But maybe it's not shallow.
If everything good and perfect comes from a God who fathers the Light, who never shifts sides or changes positions, who is constant and unflinching and Good, who am I to belittle small gratitudes? Who am I to scoff at trifles appreciated?
This weary world needs to notice. This tired place and its history, repeated, needs a thrill of hope again.
I want to give big-thanks for every little thing, because none of it is. When the woman finds the lost coin and the widow gives her last one, both are cause to rejoice. Both are strength for a weary world.
When life is grand it's easy to give thanks.
When sorrow is great I hope I’ll find a sunset, a song, a child’s small voice. I want to notice the change in the wind and the direction my hair blows when I'm walking off my cares. I want to be the person who is thankful for a stranger's smile, for the driver who paused to make room for my car, for the neighbor who has the cup of sugar I need.
More importantly, I want to be the cause of the smallest thanks-givings in someone else's day.
All of it becomes a monument of thanksgiving prayers and none of those stones are wasted when we notice, when we see the smallest of blessings in the shadow of the biggest sorrows or the light of our happiest days.