O God, I'm not thankful that children are neglected. I know a number of these poor little ones by name. Most I'll never know. And when I think of how abused, forgotten and neglected so many of them are I don't feel very thankful. But, I am grateful for loving hearts and tender hands reaching out in an effort to make some kind of difference. Lord touch my heart and hands so I can make a difference, too.
And God, I don't appreciate the injury and illness that so many must endure. The Bible says "the rain falls on the rich and poor alike." I know too many who have been chilled to the bone by this cruel rain. In the presence of their pain I often feel hopeless. But, when I see a get-well card on a hospital bedside table, or even better a visitor's smiling face and encouraging word, I'm able to hope again. Lord, help me be hope and healing for others.
Dear Lord, I'm not rejoicing in how many people wander lost. Nor am I comforted by the times I feel lost, myself. But, I know I am surrounded by your searching Spirit and abundant grace. I am grateful that you continually seek, that you never stop looking. Lord, search me, know me and use me to help those who are lost.
Creator God, I am surely not thankful for how difficult it is to serve you. Sometimes life seems so fragile and uncertain. But, I am so very thankful for those who find the courage to answer your call to service. Some respond through worship and praise; some through service and gifts. A few are known by everyone; most are only known by you. Lord, I give thanks for the faith of the faithful. Increase my faith in you.
O God, bless all neglected children. Comfort the sick and the injured. Guide the lost and strengthen the faithful. And thank you for loving me.
- Charnock is the director of Mission Integration and Ethics at Susquehanna Health.