I FOUND IT painful to remember these activities and feelings, yet the memories filled me then and fill me now with an overwhelming sense of gratitude. Perhaps this gratitude carried the beginning of the healing of grief with it. I do not recall having ever been so completely grateful for my mother’s life, her being, or her gifts in this way. It was like sunlight on a warm field, a hot meal in a safe place on a cold day, a soaking in of summer beauty complete with a breeze. It involved the limbering up of stiffened muscles, the waking from sleep. Gratitude works like this.
—Roberta C. Bondi, Wild Things: Poems of Grief and Love, Loss and Gratitude (Upper Room Books, 2014)
Have you ever noticed gratitude in the midst of grief? Share your thoughts.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
—Matthew 5:4 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
Creator God, As you draw us closer to you, draw us closer to each other. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
Who came up with the idea of using nativity scenes to celebrate Christmas? Many might be surprised to learn that Francis of Assisi, the well-known thirteenth-century saint, is credited with creating the first nativity scene. The Living Nativity: Preparing for Christmas with Saint Francis introduces readers to Saint Francis and his joyous reenactment of the birth of Jesus, complete with a manger and animals. Discover more.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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