A Thankful, Grateful Heart
November 16, 2022
From Pastor Joe Wamack
My mom died in 2003. She and I had a special relationship. All relationships between moms and their children can be special, but perhaps the most special is between a mom and her son. Not only am I my mother’s son, but I am my mother’s only son. And not only am I her only son, but I am her youngest child. So, being the youngest and the only boy, I was, what might be called, “spoiled rotten”. I have two older sisters, who, if they were here, would nod and say, “Mom thought Joey could do no wrong”.
I never did wrong-at least nothing I got caught for, except stealing baseball cards from the drug store once, and when I was 15, I got caught driving without a license and another time I-wait-I don’t think I will tell you about that one.
I will admit-it was nice to be my mother’s only son. I had my own bedroom; my sisters had to share a room. I never wore hand me down clothes because there was no one to hand them down to me.
I remember my mom fixing my favorite foods like homemade chicken and noodles, with mashed potatoes, French toast with cinnamon and sugar and of course, hamburgers. She did all my laundry, cooked my meals and basically took super good care of me.
I was sad when she died in 2003. I still miss her and at times like Thanksgiving, when she always cooked a great meal, the memories are stronger, but they are sweet now. It is a warm, satisfied aching feeling.
Thanksgiving is not about food or football or even time off from work. It is a time to be grateful and share gratefulness. And even a time to miss someone, like I do my mom. It’s ok-it is part of who we are-part of our story that makes us unique. There can be sadness mixed in with gratitude. We were made fully human, so we are complex beings. That’s why we have the word “bittersweet.”
Sometimes when I think about the feelings God has for me, and not only for me but for all of us-His children, I realize He feels for us like we are His “one and only.” He loves us with an everlasting, one-of-a-kind love, a love like we are the only one on this earth, a love that desires to serve and give. This creates a thankful, grateful heart in us.
That’s the way I want to love, not only my family, and you, my church family, but all people-with grace filled, Godly love. I want to view your uniqueness through the lens of God’s goodness and grace and appreciate you for who you are.
May you be blessed today, be grateful and serve others like He serves you. May your holiday be filled with food, family, and faith. Squeeze your loved ones just a bit tighter this year. Have a wonderful holiday.