Sunday, 28 February 2010

2010:365:59 G is for Gratitude

There's something about the angle of this coaster that makes the photograph look odd....
It is one of a set of six given to me some time ago when friends visited Lindisfarne.  The calligraphy pleases me and the words remind me of school.  Both before and after school dinner, grace was said.  This is the "before" version; afterwards it was usually "For what we have received ...."  

Kilkeel High School is an early 1950s purpose-built comprehensive in south Down, and was still relatively new when I became a pupil in 1961  We were very fortunate - the Primary School and the High School share the same campus so transition from one to the other is painless.  Memories of those years are happy ones and opportunities were provided for us to discover all the talents that we had.  Spiritual formation as well as physical and mental challenges helped to produce generations of men and women ready to take their place at every level in society.  

Ten years after leaving KHS I returned as a teacher!  Many of us did, and a large proportion of the staff are former pupils.  The canteen is now a cafeteria and a teacher or the head boy/girl saying grace before meals a thing of the past.  
It is a good habit.  If nothing else, it helps to "keep us mindful of the needs of others."

For just a moment it is important to remember that all we have comes from God.  This particular coffee set reminds me not only of God's provision but also of good friends who gave it to me when I was leaving my last Parish.  Gratitude to God for everything.  The coffee is a good blend and seems to taste even better when poured from a china coffee pot and savoured from such beautiful matching coffee cups.  

I took this other picture too looking towards the garden - as outside on the bird feeder a Goldfinch had been enjoying some tasty seeds.  Of course, the movement that I made meant that it was no longer there when the photograph was taken!  But I'm grateful too for the beauty in nature - the colourful birds, the fresh growth and spring bulbs, the sounds and smells of warmer days ...  All good gifts around us are sent from heaven above ... so thank the Lord .... for all his love.  

A Grace at Mealtimes

O Lord,
In a world where many are lonely:
     we thank you for our friendships.
In a world where many are captive:
     we thank you for our freedom.
In a world where many are hungry:
     we thank you for your provision.
We pray that you will
     enlarge our sympathy,
     deepen our compassion,
     and give us grateful hearts.
In Christ's name.  Amen.

Attributed to Terry Waite.

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