By District Superintendent Rev. Dan Morley
Photo by Umer Malik
Blessings at the borders are ones which come at unexpected times and places. Border blessings are revealed when one is between . . .
- The familiar and unfamiliar
- My opinion and your opinion
- The comfortable and the uncomfortable
- The known and the unknown
It is in these in-between places blessings seem to have the greatest lasting impact. When a Thanksgiving Day is so often celebrated with one’s own common customs and practices, I wonder what blessings might be missed? Staying deep inside the safe and familiar places may cause one’s senses to become dulled or even biased.
Remember this story about Jesus at the border and his encounter with someone who crossed over? (Luke 17:11-19)
On his way to Jerusalem, Jesus went along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men with leprosy came toward him. They stood at a distance and shouted, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” Jesus looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” On their way, they were healed. When one of them discovered that he was healed, he came back, shouting praises to God.
He bowed down at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. The man was from the country of Samaria.
Jesus asked, “Weren’t ten men healed? Where are the other nine? Why was this foreigner the only one who came back to thank God?” Then Jesus told the man, “You may get up and go. Your faith has made you well.”
One of my most profound lessons of the faith came in the middle of Jr. High science class from my teacher, Mr. Ramirez. Perhaps it was so impactful because it came in an unexpected time and place and from someone I thought of only as my teacher of science and not faith. But I really think it stuck with me so deeply because it was his personal witness of the truth.
One day in class Mr. Ramirez stopped in the midst of showing us cell life through a microscope. After peering through the microscope he looked up and said, “I don’t stop to thank God nearly often enough for the incredible world he has made. Do you?”
It felt like Mr. Ramirez peered right into my soul with his microscope — all I could do was shake my head no.
I often think about that day and his witness and when I do, I stop and thank God for the blessing in the moment when another world impacted mine.