So yesterday, I was having a bit of a Grinch moment. I was frustrated about several things and then while trying to go somewhere last night, my car got stuck in a snowbank in my driveway. Frustrated and upset and tired of not having a significant other to help out, I slammed the door and went inside and decided to deal with it the next morning. About 8:30 pm, I received a text from my landlady upstairs stating that someone was shoveling out my car. I went up and it was my wonderful neighbor. He had shoveled my entire driveway and then he helped me to get my car out of the snowbank.
Feeling very grateful to him and a bit embarrassed about my earlier complaints, I went back inside. As I laid down, I pondered about many things in my life until I finally fell asleep. It was then I had a humbling dream. I dreamt that I was getting ready to move to another city with my sister and my Dad and some other members of the family. We were all going to leave at a specific time. I had to run an errand to another section of town and promised I would be back before they all left.
This is where the dream took an interesting turn. I had to drive to a part of town that wasn’t that safe when my car ran out of gas. Knowing I was going to be late, I tried to make a call on my cell phone, but found all the data had been used up and there was no Wi-Fi. I tried to borrow someone else’s phone, but it didn’t work. Not long after, someone stole my purse. With no money and my cell phone not working, I couldn’t call for help.
I wandered a few blocks into a neighborhood where hundreds of people lined the streets. They were of every color, race, nationality and country. Some had obviously been rich at one point as their clothing shown, but they had fled with just the clothes on their back. I soon realized most of them were homeless locals and refugees. I sat with one of the men asking if he had a phone and his phone didn’t work either. I asked him why they were all waiting around and they said they were all waiting for places to sleep. I looked around at the beds that had 2, 3 or sometimes 4 people to them and began to feel deeply humbled. It was at this time that I found both my cell phone and even my shoes had disappeared.
Essentially, I was like these people. I had no money, no shoes to walk anywhere, no car, no phone to call for help. I was just like them and I realized how easy it was to have your life turn around so quickly. As I partook of the breakfast food being served by volunteers, my sister came. She had somehow found me and I knew I was going to be ok. But as I left the building with the hundreds of refugees, I began to sing a hymn. I don’t remember what it was, but it was a hymn of gratitude. My sister joined me and soon, everyone there was singing this song. For a moment, though these people were homeless, we were all grateful for what we did have.
I woke up from this dream and realized immediately the lesson that my Heavenly Father was trying to teach me. We are all refugees in a way. We owe our last breath to Heavenly Father for He has given us everything and can take everything away. He does so to teach us powerful and important lessons in humility and gratitude and to rekindle that flame to serve. How could we be grateful for an old car if we did not have to walk and take the bus? How could we be grateful for warm shoes to cover our feet if we at one time didn’t have them? How could we be grateful for our peaceful sanctuaries of home if we didn’t know the fear of losing that at one point? Once upon a time, even the King of all Kings was homeless as he was born and laid in a manger.
Yes, I am grateful. I am thankful for the warm blankets on my bed and a warm home to sleep in, for the kindness of neighbors, for the love of family, for an old car that works and gets me to places I need to go, for a job that helps me pay my bills, for the food I have, for understanding friends, and most of all, for Jesus Christ whose birth we celebrate at this wonderful time of the year.
As the song below says, there’s so much to be thankful for…