Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Heart of Thankfulness

Today I have been trying to focus my attention on God and all that I am thankful for.  I have been offering up thanksgiving all day, and I was reading and researching thanksgiving when I came across this story by Paul Aurandt...

It is gratitude that prompted an old man to visit an old broken pier on the eastern seacoast of Florida. Every Friday night, until his death in 1973, he would return, walking slowly and slightly stooped with a large bucket of shrimp. The sea gulls would flock to this old man, and he would feed them from his bucket. Many years before, in October, 1942, Captain Eddie Rickenbacker was on a mission in a B-17 to deliver an important message to General Douglas MacArthur in New Guinea. But there was an unexpected detour which would hurl Captain Eddie into the most harrowing adventure of his life.

Somewhere over the South Pacific the Flying Fortress became lost beyond the reach of radio. Fuel ran dangerously low, so the men ditched their plane in the ocean...For nearly a month Captain Eddie and his companions would fight the water, and the weather, and the scorching sun. They spent many sleepless nights recoiling as giant sharks rammed their rafts. The largest raft was nine by five. The biggest shark...ten feet long.

But of all their enemies at sea, one proved most formidable: starvation. Eight days out, their rations were long gone or destroyed by the salt water. It would take a miracle to sustain them. And a miracle occurred. In Captain Eddie's own words, "Cherry," that was the B- 17 pilot, Captain William Cherry, "read the service that afternoon, and we finished with a prayer for deliverance and a hymn of praise. There was some talk, but it tapered off in the oppressive heat. With my hat pulled down over my eyes to keep out some of the glare, I dozed off."

Now this is still Captain Rickenbacker talking..."Something landed on my head. I knew that it was a sea gull. I don't know how I knew, I just knew. Everyone else knew too. No one said a word, but peering out from under my hat brim without moving my head, I could see the expression on their faces. They were staring at that gull. The gull meant food...if I could catch it."

And the rest, as they say, is history. Captain Eddie caught the gull. Its flesh was eaten. Its intestines were used for bait to catch fish. The survivors were sustained and their hopes renewed because a lone sea gull, uncharacteristically hundreds of miles from land, offered itself as a sacrifice. You know that Captain Eddie made it.

And now you also know...that he never forgot. Because every Friday evening, about sunset...on a lonely stretch along the eastern Florida seacoast...you could see an old man walking...white-haired, bushy-eyebrowed, slightly bent. His bucket filled with shrimp was to feed the gulls...to remember that one which, on a day long past, gave itself without a struggle...like manna in the wilderness.

What an incredible example of showing gratitude.  Today was a day of mixed blessings, Adam was very agitated today (a blessing to see as it shows signs and progress in the brain healing itself), but it's hard to watch Adam be so agitated and not be able to understand fully why.  So instead of being upset, I just praised God and thanked Him for all the healing that has taken place, that is taking place, and that is still to come!  I have so much to be thankful for.  I was reflecting back to the first day after Adam's accident when I was told that there was a good chance he wasn't going to make it and if he did he would never be able to speak or understand language... praise God that He is bigger than Adam's brain injury because we all know that God has healed Adam and made him able to speak and understand language!  There is so much be to give God thanks for!  I praise God every day that Adam is speaking and understanding and today was no exception... this morning when I walked in and said good morning to Adam, he said good morning back and then told me that I was pretty.  Praise God that he speaks, it was so awesome to hear my man tell me I was pretty!  What girl doesn't want to hear that?!!!  What a blessing!
 
Since Adam was having a bit of a rough day I was able to participate in the group sessions.  One of Adam's group therapy sessions today was yoga, I was stunned watching him today, he followed every direction and every move!!!  It was so incredible to see him stay focused for a 45 minute yoga class!  GO ADAM!  He did great in all his therapies today and I love to watch his therapists fall in love with him too!  Adam has really taken to his occupational therapist Terri, and she him... I love watching Adam respond to what ever it she is working with him on!  God has hand picked some incredible people to work with Adam and we are so blessed.
 
Psalm 30:11-12 You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever.

2 comments:

Vicky Scott said...

Amy,
can you send a mailing address?

Anonymous said...

I hope this comes through. I tried 5 different times yesterday and wasn't allowed to send it. I love the story of the seagull. Father works in strange and mysterious ways. I rejoice with you in how well Adam is doing. I continue to trust for your sweet family. I love you, Marion

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