A lot of people for the past month have been posting daily statuses on Facebook about what they’re thankful for. I’ve been uncomfortable doing that. I’ve been increasingly private about speaking out in such a public forum. Most of what I have to be thankful for is so deeply spiritual and personal. I thought I would try to say a few words in this, semi-anonymous that it is.

I am most of all thankful to my God for His mercy and grace and healing in sparing my life, in giving it back to me, so that I might give it back to Him.

I am thankful for being blessed with such a loving and nurturing family, who are always holding me up in love and in prayer.

I am thankful for the few, dear friends I have. It is so easy for me to feel alone, and so hard to feel I am making connections, but when I step back and survey all the people whom I love and who love me, I know that I am truly blessed.

I am thankful for all the material comforts in my life — a secure home, a soft bed, warm clothing, ample food. I know there are so many people in the world who don’t have these blessings. I have so much “stuff” — so many things that I don’t need, and need to share.

I am thankful for all the opportunities I’ve been blessed with in pursuing an education — all of the teachers and professors who have shown mercy and understanding toward me; all of the grace and patience and forgiveness I have received; all of the many more chances I’ve been given than I deserved. Most of all I am thankful for the opportunity to live and teach and learn in a rich and nurturing university and department.

I am thankful for the myriad beauties and blessings of this earth and this cosmos: for the wonders of nature, the sun and the moon and stars and trees and animals; for so many places to go and see and experience; for the delights of food and drink, and especially for coffee.

I am thankful for the rich world of knowledge I’ve been given to partake in: especially in our rich history and culture; for so many sources and artifacts preserved and passed down; for so many fascinating people and events and ideas; so many questions unanswered and mysteries unexplored.

I am thankful for this magnificent heights and depths of this Christian tradition to which I’ve been drawn all my life; for the gently guiding hand of God in leading me here; and most of all for His love and mercy and grace toward humanity in Christ laying down His life so that we might be saved and might know God.

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