The Gift of Gratitude – A Short Story Series

Jack was a hard man. He everything he did was done with great determination, ambition, pride, and confidence (to the point of arrogance).  It was hard to be Jack’s employee, it was, hard to be his friend, but, it was even harder to be his wife and daughter.

Jack was also a very successful man. He owned a very up scale trendy restaurant that was heading for franchising in numerous states across the country. He wore all the best designers in clothes, shoes, & jewelry (only the finest watches for him). He made certain that his very beautiful wife wore the best of the best (to complete the appearance of the perfect wife) and that his daughter was the most stylish of any child anywhere that they went. Yes, Jack was a successful man and that success meant the world to him. He wore it on his sleeve for the entire world to see.

If you were to ask Jack if he was a happy man, without a thought he would have said yes. But if he had truly stopped to think about the question I’m not sure he would have known the answer. For in truth with all of his pursuits all he truly felt was empty. This was not a feeling he acknowledged or even allowed himself to feel. But deep down in the deepest of his core that was all that was there a, hallow, lonely, empty, nothing. This did not bother Jack; he was a man of action not feeling, a man of accomplishments always making improvements to an already high end, high class and perfect model…or so he thought.

One day while opening up the restaurant for business he came across an odd man with a twinkle in his eye. The man questioned, “Are you grateful for all you have?” Jack replied, “I’ve done well for myself.” Not truly caring but something about the man made him feel compelled to ask, “Why do you ask?” The man replied, “Because gratitude is the blessing of a humble heart.” And the man proceeded to go his way. Likewise Jack continued on with his day, thinking nothing of the encounter.

Jack received a phone call from a policeman. He was calling to inform him that there had been a fire at his house. The policeman told him that he could see his wife and daughter at the hospital and that he should get there fast. The doctors had said that it didn’t look good.

When he arrived at the hospital Dr. Thomas Logan informed him that both his wife and daughter had received extensive burns over their bodies and that it would be touch and go for a while as to whether or not their systems could take the shock of the injuries. If their bodies could handle the next few days things would look hopeful. Thinking ahead, Jack ask Dr. Logan, “When would they be able to get constructive surgery and just where are their burns anyway?” The doctor went on to explain that his wife had been burned over 80% of her body and there was just so much that they could do. It would be a long, painful process and that her body particularly her face would never be the same. His daughter had been burned over 75% of her body and would most likely never have hair on her head again and the reconstructive surgery for face may fair better than his wife’s but not by much.

Because of a spark from an electric cord on their Christmas tree. Jack’s ideal life had been crushed in less than an hour’s time his perfect home and belongings lay burnt to the crisp with nothing but ashes to show for all his hard work and success. Worse of all his beautiful wife and adorable daughter where now horribly disfigured creatures, wrapped like cocoons never to be seen again as they had once graced is arms. Something inside him cracked. Could it be the impenetrable wall he’d worked so hard all his life to build was loosing its strength? Time alone would tell.

Happy Father’s Day

As we honor our earthly Fathers for all the wonderful things they have done for us.  Maybe he would blow bubbles with you.  Perhaps your’s like mine would take you out on outings as a kid that was code for once the shopping was done we were going to Thrifty’s for ice cream.  May be he played ball with you and taught you all about sports.  Perhaps he would swing with you.  Maybe he had many business trips but would always bring home a gift for you to remind you that he had been thinking of you the whole time.

Or perhaps your dad was absent or worse yet abusive with either his words or deeds or both.  You may have nothing but bad memories of your father and the idea of celebrating this day is more than you can handle.

Perhaps your like me and your father is no longer a live and this day is just a reminder of what you are missing.

May I encourage you that we can honor a Father that loves like no other!  He is there for the hurting and wants to ease your burden.

I know there are a thousand questions for those of us who have been abused and/or witnessed abuse that we could ask our Heavenly Father, “Why would you allow that to happen to me?”

All I know is His ways are higher than mine and His thoughts higher than mine.  I’ve come to a point that there are things that I will not understand this side of heaven.  I’m alright with that.  There is so much that He has done for me that I can trust in His love and honor Him this Father’s Day as the awesome Father that He is!

Please take a step of faith with me and no matter what kind of earthly father you have and honor our Heavenly Father.  For He is at work, working all things for our good.  That is something we can praise Him for and there is oh so much more.  His grace, mercy, love, righteousness, justice, majesty and glory.  He offers that grace to all who will accept it, and merciful on those who call on Him.  He lives to love us.  Where would the world be if He weren’t righteous?  His majesty humbles us and puts us in right standing with Him.  His glory is to shine through us to bring others to Him.  What more could you ask of a Father.

How about one that keeps track of every tear ever cried and hurts that you hurt.  He wants to take that hurt away.  And replace it with His love and forgiveness.  Two very powerful attributes.

He wants to fill the emptiness that human fallible fathers could not fill.  That is why He wants us to turn to Him so strongly.

While you’re honoring your earthly father take some time today to consider honoring your Heavenly Father.  If that means giving your life to Him because you have yet to do that then ask forgiveness for your sins, thank Him for what Christ did on the cross for you and decide that you are going to live differently from now on.  Get into the Word of God so that you know how to live, and find a growing church body to be a part of.  If that means recommitting your life to God so be it.  Get in right standing with Him and do all you can to not fall away again.  If you are in good standing with God praise Him for all that He has done for you and all that you may have taken for granted.

Have a blessed Father’s Day!

Joy – A Woman After God’s Own Heart!