I write this blog with the consent of the woman whose story I am re-telling. She seemed to appreciate my wanting to tell her story and even posed for the picture of her that I took.
It was less than three weeks ago that a long-time member of my congregation, Daria, was in a tragic accident. While crossing the street, she was struck by a car. Her injuries were substantial. She fractured two vertebrae, two fingers and her jaw. She told me that as soon as she was hit and was knocked to the ground, she quickly said two prayers. The first was asking her late husband to be with her. The second was that Jesus would send her angels to be with her. It seemed to her that in a quick second there was a group of people surrounding her. Was it a coincidence or was that an answer to prayer?
I visited her in the hospital and asked how she was. “Fine,” she told me.
“Fine?” I asked.
“Yes,” she replied. “I’m not paralyzed. I have no brain damage. I’m not dead. I’m grateful.”
I knew that she was a woman of faith but it was rare to find anyone so injured with the ability to feel such gratitude in such circumstances.
Daria is unique among American Christians. She was born in a refugee camp in Europe following World War II. She was raised by hardworking parents who immigrated to New York to give her a better life. Her late husband had a similar story. Both became educated and became high school teachers. She has always been grateful for the life she had and the wonderful family that she created.
Daria knows how difficult life can be. This is why she feels true gratitude for the good things in life. She doesn’t feel “entitled” to anything. Maybe this is something we who were raised in the American Middle Class ought to learn. We aren’t entitled to anything. Let us feel gratitude for every blessing that we receive.
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To read more of Pastor Mark’s writings, please order a copy of his book: https://deepriverbooks.com/?s=circle+of+seven