“I’m just so grateful for how great my God is, for my room that I have here. I just pray someone doesn’t pull the fire alarm again tonight,” she says, wrapping her pink-flowered terry robe around her tighter.
There’s a murmur of agreement that comes from the other ladies at the table. Someone else begins to speak, to share what they are thankful for, but I am still fixed on the one who just spoke. With long fingers she gathers her dark hair, threaded with silver, and tucks it into the collar of her robe. Her eyes are deep brown, and seen many things I have never seen, and most likely will never see.
Earlier she spoke of a trial she’d endured this week, a temptation she’d overcome, a judgement placed against her, a struggle she’d been dealing with most of her life, and a child-hood memory on the reserve with her father.
Tears formed in the corner of her eyes when she spoke of her son who lives many miles away, on the west coast.
She misses him very much.
Yet, this woman, who’s in the last quarter century of her life, with few clothes and little resources that only allow her to live in an accommodation centre that houses other women, is ever so grateful for God. For God just being God.
And I’m humbled.
My gratitude list can be long of things like coffee, my car, my healthy kids, my vacations, my money in the bank, my working mind and body, an answered prayer…
But when have I just been thankful to God for just being God?
In the book of James, James tells us, “Listen, my dear brothers and sisters, Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?” 2:5
This woman, this woman who wraps herself in a terry robe to stay warm understands what faith is. There is no barrier of things, of world riches that block her with pride or idolatry. She is rich in faith, grateful for her wonderful God for just being God–her strength and her redeemer; her rock and her salvation.
The God that even though the steps she takes are without many comforts of worldly goods and may even have disaster or ruin, she is confident is by her side and protecting her.
Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtake the wicked, for the Lord will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared. Prov. 3:35
Later as I slip on my thermal winter coat, step into my car, start the engine and feel heat on my bare hands, I thank God for heated steering wheels. And pause, then find myself whispering this simple prayer.
I do thank you for all my comforts and blessings Lord, but more than anything I just want to thank you for being here with me, for being in my life, and loving me. The best thing about my life is you….