I was walking through my home the other day and I was suddenly struck with how blessed I am. With Thanksgiving just over I guess it’s a natural thing to be struck with, but it was a different kind of struck. I don’t know exactly how to describe it. Think of a clear bell, like the one that signifies an Angel got his/her wings in “It’s A Wonderful Life” – that’s the normal kind of struck, a pleasant sort of ah – ha moment. K, now think of the big bells in Quasimodo’s tower, those huge bells that require a grown man to sound them and have rendered poor Quasimodo deaf over the years. The ones that can knock you over with their power. It’s a struck that isn’t as pleasant but hopefully has more lasting effects.
You see, my struck came with a measure of shame and embarrassment. I felt like I was one of the nine lepers who didn’t come back to Christ to thank him. Instead I was dwelling on the negative and just skating through without appreciating my amazing life. I was focusing on all the wrong things, mainly all of the THINGS we needed to get done.
As I looked at my living room I noticed that I have a REALLY nice place to live – a place that I often describe as small, but is far more than we need. When so many families are living in squalor, or squished into one bedroom homes I live in a beautiful two bedroom rental. I noticed that my fridge is full of food when so many are hungry. I noticed the Christmas tree my husband and I lovingly put up – something we don’t really need but are blessed to have. I noticed the pictures on the walls: a large painting done by my husband’s late great grandmother, a photo of our baby when she was only a few weeks old, a wedding photo of myself and my husband. I felt the blessing of a caring and hard working husband, of a beautiful and healthy baby girl, and of an eternal family.
I was struck with my blessings, and after I took a moment to thank the Lord the Quasimodo bells changed from warning bells to clear strong and resonant bells – still the kind that knock you over, but with Heavenly Father’s love rather than my own shame. And I resolved to do better to remember what’s really important.