Pastors Blog

Amy Denney
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Thank God for Covers

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

As we approach Thanksgiving Day, 2017, I offer the following reflection.

Pastor Park

One of the Ten Lepers, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks.
Luke 17:15-16

During my time in Seminary at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, I worked the second shift at a local Lutheran Nursing Home as a CNA. One of the residents on the wing that I served was a delightful woman by the name of Margaret. Margaret had never married, and had been a High School English Teacher for over 45 years, still teaching in her late sixties. She was famous for how well she prepared her students for the rigors of composition at the college level.

In her mid-nineties (still living alone) she had a massive stroke one night in the dead of winter. It was estimated that she had been on the floor of her bathroom for at least three days and nights before she was found by a neighbor.

It was that event which brought Margaret to the Lutheran Nursing Home to complete her earthly life. Each evening, I carefully bathed her, made sure she had a fresh nightgown on, and then tucked her in for the night. By 8 PM she was always sound asleep. Then each night (regular as clockwork) she cried out at 10:30 PM, “Help Me! Help Me!”.  Already knowing what she wanted, I went immediately to her room, with a warm blanket in my arms.

I asked her what I could help her with, and she indicated that she needed more covers. I placed the warm blanket around her and made sure that I pulled it up close around her neck. Her response each night was always the same – “Thank God for Covers”. This was no idle statement, after her experience of being on the bathroom floor for at least three nights in the dead of winter, she literally was thanking God for the gift of covers.

It is that same sense of true thanksgiving that the former leper gives to Jesus in  the Luke Seventeen text above. When he realizes that he has indeed been healed, he returns shouting praises to God, and then falls at Jesus’ feet and intentionally gives thanks.

We are called to be the Margarets, and the healed lepers of this world. We are called to be God’s people of thanksgiving. As we approach yet another national day of thanksgiving, let us not only spend time with family and friends, but let us also slow down and give thanks to God.

Let us give thanks to God, for all that God has done for us. Whether that be as grand as being healed from what was thought to be incurable, or as simple as a warm blanket. Let us join with Margaret, and genuinely declare what is our “Thank God for Covers”.

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