In the morning quiet on my second cup of coffee I am deeply grateful. Martha and I got into Santa Barbara last night about 10:30 pm. I am grateful to have a home to come home to. During the burial service at Ft. Snelling National Cemetery yesterday, a member of the color-guard presented a flag to my mother with the words "a grateful country" in reference to my dad's military service. Seeing those thousands of uniform marble headstones made me grateful for their sacrifice and the privilege of living in this country.
I am grateful for...
...a wife who loves me
...adult children who, at significant sacrifice joined me in saying goodbye to my dad (their grandfather)
...for a son-in-law and daughter-in-law who stepped into our family with grace during the chaos of grief
...for a brother and sister who stood by my dad and mother for significantly longer periods of time than I did at the end
...for Anne Vining, pastor of 1st Covenant Church, who led and preached and cared for my who family
...for Dave Kerstens and Gary Walter who drove from Chicago to St. Paul to sit with our family and honor my dad
...for 27+ Covenant pastors who came to the funeral and stood together singing "Children of the Heavenly Father"
...for the many friends from Salem Covenant who came to the funeral because they knew and loved my dad, and me
...for my mother's simple but basic faith that trusts God "Day By Day"
...for the high privilege of being a pastor and having a church to serve
Gratitude does not make one soft of mushy. It does not prevent me from being observant and even critical. But it does qualify my view of life with grace. God is good.