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A Lesson in Gratitude

One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.  Luke 17: 15-16 NIV

As usual, we dropped my son off at his Wednesday evening flag football practice.

My finance, older son, and I then ran to the store to get fixings for dinner. When we returned to the field, the team was scrimmaging. With a slight autumn chill in the air, we sat in the warm truck, drinking coffee and watching the remainder of practice. The boys finished their tackling, running, and passing drills and then banded together for the final huddle.

Just as we heard the last of the loud grunts and zealous cries as these young kids exuded their excitement for a sport that allows them to tap into their inner warriors, we saw the huddle disband. Each child dispersed toward their waiting parent on the sidelines. Except one.

The one child who stayed behind was not asked to help pick up the neon yellow cones outlining the grassy field, yet he chose to help the coach.

Luke records the story of ten men with leprosy. After Jesus cleansed the ten, only one man returned with authentic thanksgiving, praising God for the miracle of healing he received.

The one football player who chose to stay and help the coach was simply … thankful. In his young but wise mind, he saw the sacrifice of time and teaching talent put forth by the middle-aged, hard-working, dad coach. He wanted to show his appreciation by helping him.

The child happened to be my son. I questioned him when he arrived at the truck. “That was nice of you to help the coach. Did he ask you?”

My son nonchalantly replied, “Nah. I just wanted to.”

Pride burned its way from the bottom of my heart and nearly poured from my tear ducts like an unruly waterfall. I told him his act of service was a beautiful thing to witness. Knowing he did it of his own accord without having to be asked was the icing atop my mommy-pride triple-chocolate cake.

God gives us opportunities to help when no one else wants to. We can show gratitude for the simple blessings others put forth that often go unnoticed.

I am by no means comparing my son to the recovered leper. Or perhaps I am. After all, they both had one thing in common: a grateful heart that did not go unnoticed.

Are you showing gratitude when no one else wants to?

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

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Manndi DeBoef

Manndi Maphies DeBoef works at the UMKC School of Pharmacy and as a freelance writer in her spare time. Her greatest passion is being a mom to her two rambunctious, creative, and endearing sons: William, age 10, and Waylan, age 8. Her sons never fail to provide daily entertainment, which inspires many of her writings. She also loves to write about everything from being a single mom and dating after divorce to finding lasting love later in life, overcoming the devastation of miscarriage, and losing a loved one and starting over. Her pieces are lovingly filled with inspiration, encouragement, and always a touch of humor.