Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Murder, Love, Leprosy, and Gratitude

Suggested Reading: Luke 17:11-19

One of the television shows that my wife and I used to enjoy watching together was Castle. It was a crime dramedy series about Rick Castle, a mystery author who gets permission to shadow Kate Beckett, a beautiful New York City police detective, as she solves murders on a weekly basis. Naturally, the two are attracted to each other but nothing really developed between them until she was shot in an assassination attempt. As she lay on the ground bleeding, Castle professed his love for her, not wanting her to die without knowing how he felt. Up until that point, Kate had suspected Castle had feelings for her. Sometimes, his behavior hinted at it, though their professional lives made such a romance problematic. But Kate never knew for sure until Castle actually said it out loud, until she heard it from his lips.

In Luke 17 we see Jesus heal a group of ten lepers.  One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God!”  He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan (Luke 17:15-16, NLT). Notice, the man came back shouting and thanking him. Most translations simply say that he came back with a loud voice. Either way, the author's intention is clear: when this man returned to show his gratitude he was loud enough to be heard.

We don't have to shout at people, but we have to remember that even when we act like we are grateful people can't always discern our motives. We can't read each other's minds and we can never assume that the people to whom we are grateful know that we are grateful, even if we act that way. Real gratitude is something that can not only be seen but heard. If we never tell our parents that we are grateful for their guidance and protection through the years, they might think we are grateful, but they might never know for sure.  If we don't tell that person who helped us out, or who gave us a gift, or who went out on a limb for us that we are grateful, they might suspect we are grateful, but we can't assume they know.

Gratitude is meant to be heard. Make certain that you voice your gratitude if you are grateful to someone. Otherwise, they may never really know. While we're at it, God knows our hearts, but I'm pretty sure God likes to hear our gratitude, too.

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