Three Words Will Do

by | May 24, 2004 | Gratitude, Thankfulness

I saw a stunning painting a while ago. It was done by a man whose work reflects a lot of religious themes, but I think this is one of his best. It is a portrayal of one of the encounters with Jesus told in the book of Luke, chapter 17. Ten lepers had cried out to the master for healing and he did not disappoint them. But they disappointed him. The painting shows the group, all dressed in rags, but turning away, renewed. All except one. That one is turning back, his hands outstretched, the look on his face a picture of ecstasy. Ten sought and received healing but only one returned to say thank you.

The stories of how Jesus healed are powerful. I believe they touch a place of longing in us, because we all need healing in some way. Some of us need it physically, for our bodies are vulnerable to the diseases of this earth. All of us need it spiritually, for our spirits are vulnerable to the distractions and sin of this world. Most of us have experienced healing in our lives in one way or another, but sometimes we fail to recognize it. We pass it off as normal, something accomplished by the skill of a doctor or the effectiveness of drugs, something that slips by within the passage of time and almost goes unnoticed.

My mother-in-law was in a car accident some time ago and suffered a serious back injury. When she went for her first physiotherapy appointment, she stared at a short sloping ramp leading to the area where she would be treated and thought to herself, ‘how on earth am I going to get up there?’ Even with the aid of a walker, she found movement difficult. It took many weeks, but she remembers the day she walked into that office without the use of any support and walked easily up that small ramp. She stopped and took time to be thankful.

Perhaps we should all stop and give thanks, not just on days like Thanksgiving, which we just celebrated here in Canada, but on each and every day. Each and every day we are healed – healed of the anger that burns too hot, the fear that almost overwhelms, the anxiety that seems to be a part of modern life. Each and every day we are healed of the small scratches that don’t develop into infections, the aches and pains that don’t become chronic, the headaches that fade away on their own. Small mercies perhaps, but healings nonetheless.

In the book of James, the writer tells us – “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights .” (James 1:17). Perhaps it’s time we said a small prayer – three words will do. Thank You, Father.

Marcia Lee Laycock


Three Words Will Do