How Rich Are You? (received from a friend)

They huddled inside the storm door—two children in ragged, outgrown coats. “Any old papers, Lady?” they asked a passerby. She was very busy; she wanted to say no, until she looked down at their feet wrapped only in thin little sandals, sopped with sleet. “Come on in and I will make you a cup of cocoa,” she said. There was no conversation. Their soggy sandals left marks on the clean hearthstone. Cocoa and cake would fortify against the chill outside. After serving them, she went back to the kitchen and started on her household budget as they sat enjoying the warmth. After a few minutes, the silence in the front room struck through to her. She looked in. The girl held her empty cup in her hands, looking at it. The boy asked in a flat voice, “Lady, are you rich?” “Am I rich? Mercy no!” She looked at her shabby slipcovers. The girl put her cup back in its saucer carefully. “Your cups match your saucers.” Her voice was old with a hunger that was not of the stomach. They left then, holding their bundles of papers against the wind. They had not said thank you. They did not need to. They had done more than that. Plain blue pottery cups and saucers—but they matched. She tested the potatoes and stirred the gravy. “Potatoes and brown gravy, a roof over our heads, my husband with a good, steady job—these things matched, too,” she mused. She moved the chairs back from the fire and tidied the living room. The muddy prints of small sandals were still set upon the hearth, and she let them be. “I want them there in case I ever forget how very rich I am,” she told herself.

Harvest of the Heart at Thanksgiving Thanksgiving is the harvest of the heart After the fruit and grain are stored away. The quiet season of remembering, The moment when we pause to praise and pray.

“In All Things” “Gratitude is what always spoils life when it is left out.” A thankful spirit enables one to praise God even when circumstances are difficult. Alexander Whyte, the Scottish preacher, always began his prayers with an expression of gratitude. One cold, miserable day his people wondered what he would say. He prayed, “We thank Thee, O Lord, that it is not always like this.”

Observing Thanksgiving “Count it all joy” (James 1:2). Count your blessings instead of your crosses; Count your gains instead of your losses. Count your joys instead of your woes; Count your friends instead of your foes. Count your smiles instead of your tears; Count your courage instead of your fears. Count your full years instead of your lean; Count your kind deeds instead of your mean. Count your health instead of your wealth; Count on God instead of yourself.

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