It was a gorgeous day. For once it wasn’t raining. And though the wind was blowing, the sun was shining bright, dancing through the blades of grass. I had made a promise last night, full of hope that the weather would be everything they said it would be. Finally, we were going to the park.
I was asked about it all day. After some afternoon naps, we grabbed a snack to go and set off in our double stroller. I chose an alternate route. One I wouldn’t normally take. And on the way I chastised myself for my hasty decision as there was construction along my route and sidewalks were nonexistent in places.
As we walked past the hospital, I could see them perched on the sidewalk ahead. Her in a wheelchair with a young man nearby. She was wearing the typical hospital gown and robe, a bandage on her wrist where I assume an IV port was or had recently been. He stood protectively behind her and guided her wheelchair carefully out of the way of my double stroller.
I smiled at him and he said hi.
“Nice day to be out, isn’t it?” I remarked.
He was younger than I thought. So was she. Early twenties, I would guess.
The two of them laughed lightly in response as they said, “Yeah! Sure is!”
I was several feet past when I heard her mumble quietly to wind, “It’s good to be anywhere.”
Obviously, I don’t know their story. I don’t know what brought her to be a patient at our hospital. I don’t know if it was through some bad choices or merely an accident or a random lurking health condition. I’m sure I could make some guesses based on their clothes or their appearance, but I won’t.
It doesn’t matter.
I thought I knew something about being thankful. I thought I had this gratitude thing figured out. I mean, last year I listed 1,040 things and I have another list in process for this year (though I haven’t been as faithful). I’m pretty good at giving thanks. For the obvious things, that is.
But this week I read this book – One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. It will be my favorite book of the year. It’s beautifully written. Words ring through like poetry. There is painful ugly-beautiful honesty on every single page. I borrowed it from the library of course, but I’ll be buying it soon. Beyond the well-written pages, it has challenged me to rethink thankfulness. There’s more that I can say about it, but isn’t it funny how we think we have something figured out and then God shakes up the ground a bit and asks us to go deeper.
It is good to be anywhere. It’s good just to be. And it’s very good to give thanks no matter where your path takes you.