Wednesday, October 17, 2007

On being grateful...

I finished the book Left to Tell last night. It is the story of Immaculee Ilibagiza and what she experienced as a Tutsi woman during the Rwandan Holocaust. I could hardly put the book down...

Several moments in her story gripped me, but there is one part of her novel that was a clear reminder of a heart that is focused on being grateful...

Immaculee and seven other women hid in a small bathroom in a Hutu's home for 91 days. The night after they were released to the French army for protection, Immaculee and the others slept outside on the ground. The French soldiers were apologetic because there was no room for them inside, but she did not care. She said that she could sleep under the stars, the Face of her Father God! She was grateful for the crackers and small food items they were fed. Grateful for being able to wash her clothes. She was grateful for LIFE!!!

Her faith, her absolute trust in God's protection and love for her kept her focused on her future, in a day where there seemed to be none. Her love for God did not diminish went nearly all of her immediate family were brutally slaughtered.

In a country of Happy Meals and fast internet service... with generations of people who are used to having what they want when they want it...

I wonder...

...are we grateful? or just used to having the world as our oyster...

thoughtfully...

Deb

5 comments:

Presbyterian Gal said...

This is so thoughtful and resonant. Yes, we who have so much more material than most have so much less gratitude. Immaculee (what a great name) probably had absolutely no sense of entitlement to anything at all material and therefore had 100 percent of herself open to be filled with God. While we.....

Well I get this. Far too painfully to admit in polite society. So to speak.

Mandy said...

With abundance often comes entitlement, sadly. At least it does in our culture of "instant gratification takes too long". And far too many of us (me included) are now slaves to our "stuff" to some degree or other. If you have less, or have it all taken away from you, I think it's easier to gain perspective on what you *need* versus what you *want*.

Another excellent book about the Rwandan genocide is "We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families" - highly recommend it. Hardly an "upper", but a fascinating read.

DebD said...

I heard about her story on NPR. I should put this on my to read list because it sounds wonderful.

Amy Stewart said...

You point out a truth that we should be reminded of every day. Every time I start to complain that I don't have what I want like Tivo or a new laptop, or something to eat other than whats in my fridge, I should be reminded of Immaculee. Thank you for this post.

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