Pastor Marvin Arnpriester

Gratitude has been called “the memory of the heart.”

Gratitude is both a subject and an object. What we are thankful for is the subject of our gratitude. The one to whom we are grateful is the object of our gratitude.

Dr. William L. Stidger, a gifted writer and speaker, was discussing the general situation of life with some friends. One of the men commented that there wasn’t much to be thankful for at the present time.

Stidger said, “Well, I, for one, am grateful to Mrs. Wendt.” He explained that Mrs. Wendt was a schoolteacher who 30 years earlier had gone out of her way to encourage him in his studies.

“Did you ever thank her?” he was asked.

Dr. Stidger admitted he hadn’t. When he got home that evening, he sat down and wrote her a letter of appreciation.

He received a reply to his letter, which read, “My Dear Willie, I want you to know what your note meant to me. I am an old lady in my 80s, living alone in a small room, cooking my own meals, lonely, and seeming like the last leaf on the tree. You will be interested to know, Willie, that I taught school for 50 years, and in all that time, yours is the first letter of appreciation I ever received. It came on a blue, cold morning and cheered my lonely old heart as nothing has cheered me in many years.”

We, too, have objects of our gratitude that have touched and shaped our lives. We may overlook, forget, and/or take them for granted. Might we remember to thank them?

Of course, the supreme object of our gratitude is Almighty God who breathed into us the breath of life. We are the recipients of many blessings in many ways from many sources. During this Thanksgiving month, may we remember to express and live out our gratitude from the memory of our heart.

With gratitude to God and many who have blessed my life, I join you in thanks living.