The Lighthouse

the lighthouse

30 November 2009


Years ago, a young girl won the first in a long series of an American singing contest reality tv show. Her first album came out, entitled Thankful. I remember reading the liner notes, and really liking a line she wrote at the end of a long list of people she thanked for getting her to that point. She said that if there was anyone she had overlooked, to charge it to her head, not her heart.

This came to mind because the daily readings of late have had a theme of gratitude. It seems to me that gratitude is particularly important when times are tough. It's good to remember that everything we have is a gift.

It's when times seem very hard, that I realize gratitude requires trust. I am grateful for everything, even the challenges, but I can only be grateful because I believe that God has not abandoned me, has not forgotten me, nor is He trying to break me. I trust that He's got the bigger picture, and that He is, fundamentally, love. Not hallmark love (soft and mushy), pizza love (in the way we love everything ie. "I love Clive Owen" "I love apple pie" "I love crocheting") or even the love we feel for each other.

I know some of you readers very well, and I love you. But if you were to hurt me in some way, or we lost touch over time, that love would the very least be bruised. God's love endures, and it is personal. It isn't always gentle or kind, but it endures, and it is specific to each of us. He loves Anita because He knows her. He loves Carly because He created her. He loves Sharon because He really sees her. He loves Olga because He's part of her. He created us, as individuals and that is a very personal, intimate, aware act. He doesn't just love humanity in an impartial "gee, I did a good job there" kind of way an inventor would feel about his gadget coming off an assembly line. His hand is on each of us, when life is boring or hard, or absolutely perfect.

Every aspect of our life is touched by God. He is present in every day, every moment. His love is alive in a baby resting under its mother's heart in the womb; He looks at us through the eyes of the broken man begging for change on the Church steps.

I've had to remind myself of this many times. There is a longing in my heart to have a clear mission of purpose in life. I want to be used for something important. Instead, my life is small, and getting smaller all the time. To look at me, from the surface, you would think I am being diminished. However, I know that is not the truth of it, and I am reminded again and again to give thanks, to be grateful.

There is a litany in the book of Daniel, which illustrates how even the simplest of God's creation gives Him glory by praising Him according to its nature:

Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord

Praise and exalt Him above all forever;

Bless the Lord, you heavens

Praise and exalt Him above all forever;

Bless the Lord, sun and moon...

Bless the Lord, rain and dew; fire and heat; nights and days; mountains and hills; whales...birds...beasts...seas and rivers...

Bless the Lord, you sons of men... you servants of the Lord... spirits and souls of the righteous... you who are holy and humble of heart...

Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, for His mercy endures forever.

Bless Him, all who worship the Lord, the God of gods,

Sing praise to Him, and give thanks to Him,

For His mercy endures forever.

So, I suppose that is my purpose, my mission: I bless Him, worship Him, sing praise to Him, give thanks to Him.


  1. beautiful reflection, Tricia. It's not always easy to remember when we are suffering..but if we just constantly keep 'an attitude of gratitude', then it is hard to forget.

  2. oh, and I am glad He knows me, AND loves's pretty awesome!