By Tyler Lemmons
Gratitude shows itself in different ways in different people. One shows gratitude through money, the other a heart-felt card or phone call; still others need to think creatively about what is at their disposal to adequately thank someone.
As Christians, gratitude is a posture we are called to live in and out of. We learn that the more gratitude we have in our hearts, the more our joy overflows. I recently had the gift of witnessing one of the purest forms of gratitude from two children, a brother and sister, who are part of our Impact Mentoring program. They come from a large family with little material possessions. It would be an understatement to say that they have enjoyed mentoring—they have absolutely fallen in love with and adore their mentors. One Monday night, as I was preparing the building for mentoring, they sprinted from the van and through out-of-breath squeals explained to me that they had brought a present for their mentors, Matt and Shannon. The girl handed me the gift for safe-keeping as she continued running down the hall to find some markers. At first glance, I assumed the gift was a left-over valentine’s present—it was a red box with a heart balloon on top, the type of box that contains a chocolate heart or something of the sort. Instead, I found that it was not a chocolate heart inside, but a composition of several miscellaneous items- a glass bottle of half-used perfume, two play rings, and some candy. I was shaken by the thought of them looking through their house for perfect, special gifts for their mentors they are so thankful for. As I continued, I spotted her brother filling up four cups at the water fountain in order to ‘set the table’ in the classroom they meet in. I stuck my head in the classroom to find her also decorating posters saying, in various ways, Thank You! and We Love You! They were so excited to be doing these little, unprompted things to show their enormous gratitude. The scene of the kids giving their gifts to their mentors was about as sweet as you could possibly imagine, and they spent the rest of the night studying the Bible and playing together. Let us all have gratitude in our hearts for the things, big and small, that the Lord has done and is doing.