A small flame

A small flame

why the barefoot praise for shoes

Discontent is an insidious creature! If I'm not vigilant to purposefully cultivate gratitude, it doesn't take long for just a little bit of grumbling and complaining to multiply and before I know it I've hardly got a thankful thought - or word - left in me.

It's tempting to think, in those my-life-stinks seasons, that if  we just had a bit more or something a bit different then everything would be better. But that's the lie he's always told, isn't it? Hissed out, right from that first time in the garden: 'If you just had that, you're life would be so much better. . .'

Whenever I think about thankfulness and music (if you know me you know music goes with everything :) I always go back to a memory from my MK days. To a room full of believers, sitting on the ground in a simple church building, worshiping. I remember a group that got up to sing a special number -

this song -

As the world looks upon me, as I struggle along
They say I have nothing, but they are so wrong
In my heart I'm rejoicing, how I wish they could see
Thank you Lord, for your blessings on me

There's a roof up above me
I've a good place to sleep
There's food on my table
And shoes on my feet
You gave me your love Lord
And a fine family
Thank you Lord, for your blessings on me 

These people truly had nothing by American standards. They lived a hard life with few possessions. Some of them had been disowned by their families when they joined the 'new religion'. Most of them had walked several miles to church that day and would walk home again in the dark afterwards. Home to sleep on the floors of tiny, crowded, masonite homes with no indoor plumbing or in woven-walled huts with no electricity.

But that's not what etched this memory in my mind.

The reason I still remember their praise offering now, 20 years later, was that as they sang I realized that none of them was wearing any shoes. And while that wasn't at all unusual for the people who filled that time and place in my life, I was captivated -am captivated still - with their praise to God.

For shoes.
That they didn't have.

Because it's not what we have that makes us content, and thanks-giving doesn't depend on having 'more' or 'better'. We are always, always blessed enough to count God's gifts to us. 

Psalm 34
I will bless the Lord at all times;
    his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
   My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
    let the humble hear and be glad.
  Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
    and let us exalt his name together!

1 comment:

Jenni said...

What a neat story, Rachel. Music goes with "everything" for me too. :)