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Gratitude—finding the contours of good

From the November 2018 issue of The Christian Science Journal

You are up late, working in the kitchen. Suddenly the lights go out and your home is pitch-black. Can you begin to find your way to where the flashlights are stored for just such an emergency? Probably so, because you know the contours of the counters and cupboards as you make your way to the drawer where the needed supplies can be found. 

Isn’t this very much one of the roles of gratitude—the kind of gratitude that Christ Jesus taught? When a physical ailment or even death threw individuals into darkness, Jesus acknowledged God’s healing power before the blessing was seen by all (see John 11:41–44, for example). He knew the contours of spiritual reality right where the darkness seemed to be. So it was natural for him to give thanks for that which was, because of the ever-presence of God, good; and this spiritual understanding brought healing. 

Some years ago I seemed to be stuck in the dark. My back was painful all the time; it didn’t seem to matter my position, be it sitting, standing, or lying down. One morning as I lay on the floor trying to find comfort, I put my hand up to the middle of my back, and it felt as if something was missing or out of alignment. Now, not only was I in the darkness of pain, but fear gripped me as well.

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