How Do You Say Thank You?

When their lives are lived in quiet content, and their hours spent thinking of others.

When their joy is in doing and giving, their embarrassment in receiving.

When they go about life in the back row, shining praise on others and prayers on us.

When their years reach deep, their stories invoke tears of awe and inspiration, and hearts are drawn in to hear more and minds are swept into wonder.  Words bring forth faces, times, places, seasons… reaching out to meet needs of others in far away spaces.  Their experience shares passion, riches of mercy.  Of longing.

When they still, staying the course, grow gracefully.  Weather all reasons and emotions, stumbling on the unexpected, straining over the long awaited, and bear up beautifully in storms.

When they sit, knees touching.  Eyes delighting, ears listening, lips smiling. Patience escaping from them, flowing in and around and through us like the soft warm water of a comforting bath.

When others speak their praises unsolicited.

When I am given honor in their handed down reputation, for carrying their resemblance.

When their humble, quiet ways weave streams of unwavering current, their passion encased in grace.

When I receive the abundance of their faith, the blessing of their toiling in heart and head and hand.

And when my feeble offerings of praise return as gentle chiding for exaggerations… how do I show them the print they’ve left?  How do I return to them just a tenth of what I have absorbed?

Lord, teach my lips the words to speak at the times most important to impart all that You have lavished on me through those who’s faith in You gave life and meaning and hope.  Not just to me, but to all whose paths You wove through theirs.  Lord, teach my lips to speak Your praise often, as reflection of the teaching they have imbedded.  In You they put their trust, and walked steadily on their knees, confident of Your eyes being all the sight they need.  You brought me to Your embrace by their constant steady gaze.  Lord, teach my lips the words to speak, to bring You glory and to bring them honor, in all the eyes that are watching me. That I may be to those what these two have been to me.  Amen. 

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