Last week on Friday, Jesus Our Lord came and took our sister Yulia home. And last Wednesday, Jesus Our Lord came and took Mr. Tjandra, Sjafy’s father, to his eternal home. When those whom we love are taken away from us, we cannot help but feel sad. We miss them because we will not be able to see them or talk to them for the time being. But knowing that we will see them again gives us hope and comfort. And, instead of feeling angry, we feel grateful.
In his book, The Art of Forgiving, Lewis Smedes writes, “Our ability to love is proportionate to our feeling of gratitude about life. If someone feels the joy of having been given much, she is capable of loving much.” That was my observation as well. Those who are grateful for every little thing they have are full of love while those who complain about every little thing that they don’t have are empty of love. Instead, they are full of anger and bitterness.
In my conversations with Cie Jenny, Enge, and Citra, what I heard over and over was thanksgiving. Yes, they’re grieving but they are not drowned in their grief. Instead, they thanked God for so many things that He has done in the life of their sister Yulia. The same with Sjafy. She, too, expressed deep gratitude for the fact that God had given her the chance to spend some precious moments with her dad last week. No wonder, they are all full of love. So, it is true, isn’t it, that those who are full of thanks are full of love. And the reason they are always thankful is because they see life via the eyes of a recipient. They own nothing; all they have are gifts from God.
Today from Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth we learn that we don’t even own our body; it’s rental property, given to us free of charge. So is our life; given to us free of charge. Given to Us. That is the story of our life; that is the story of God’s love.