(Brooke’s generosity Blog)
July 21, 2019

I am back from sick leave. It is also called “medical leave” and other names, but I kind of like calling it “sick leave.” This is what the Presbyterian Church in Canada calls it, and that is good enough for me.

I have learned all over again about generosity.

There is nothing like chronic pain to teach some of life’s deep life lessons. I have had a relatively pain free life up to 18 months ago. That was when arthritis was diagnosed in my knees and hips. With the help of physicians and the physiotherapists I worked as hard as I have ever worked to alleviate the disability that was taking over my life. I was blessed that both of my knees responded well to the therapy. The right hip just kept getting worse each week. Finally, we all admitted (Physician, Physiotherapist, me, and Linda) that it was time to talk to a surgeon.

I had the fear and consternation of experiencing a very unfortunate reaction to a medication. Through all of this adventure I experienced generosity from family, from friends, and very generous support from the church community. I am deeply grateful to all.

I have learned all over again, the importance of generosity. When we feel vulnerable, that is when we most need understanding and support. In my experience most people will generously offer support. There are some who are not be able to give this, because of their own personal issues in life. As someone in the ‘helping’ professions, I know that not everyone is gifted with compassion and the ability to see the spirit of Jesus in other people.

The gift of perspective is learned through gratitude.

If we cannot say with deep sincerity, “Thank you,” then we are the saddest of all people. We who have learned the art of gratitude are those who have found the entry point to gratitude of slowing down enough so that we can deliberately acknowledge the goodness that already surrounds us.

Gratitude is at the heart of living a happy and fulfilling life. Pain of all kinds gets in the way of gratitude, yet the habit of feeling gratitude through difficult days as well as the good times is what gets many of us through life.

When we regularly take time to give thanks and share a sense of abundance with others around us, we attract even more goodness. It’s a beautiful cycle and practicing gratitude is like planting the first seed.

Gratitude is a lot like hospitality, both are always welcome, and both welcome the ‘other’ into our circle of care and love. Both are of God.

We have so much to celebrate here in this Christian community at Knox. In these generosity blogs I tend to work ahead several weeks. But I used up all my ideas when I was on sick leave.

So now I start over with a new list, a new way of seeing gratitude and generosity and, by the Grace of God, together we will find new and uplifting ways to connect with God’s generosity in Jesus Christ. If you have an idea for my weekly generosity article then please send it to me (brooke@knoxwaterloo.ca).

May we all enjoy this journey.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.