This Monday, Mary Dillon brought Shipley’s Donuts for the staff and office volunteers. You should have heard the joy and delight as we opened the box to behold the sight: warm, fresh donuts, smelling like heaven, and such a variety of sugary goodness. Everyone was happy Monday morning!
I picked out a donut with cinnamon and sugar coating and as I held it, I thought of an old saying, “As you go through life make this your goal – look at the doughnut and not the hole.”
This little ditty captures an important Biblical truth- the need to be thankful. I was reminded of the story of the 10 lepers who begged Jesus for healing (Luke 17:11-19). Instead of healing them right there, Jesus tells them to show themselves to the priest. They hobble away. I wonder, where they disappointed? They had asked for healing, but hadn’t received it, only another task.
No matter what they were feeling, they had enough hope to go where Jesus directed. As they do, they feel their bodies strengthening. They feel the sickness being beaten back. They look down and they are well, whole, for the first time in years! Well, you can imagine their joy. I’m not sure if they kept going to priest, probably, because that’s where they would be declared well and cleared to re-enter society. After that I bet they ran for their loved ones: spouses, little children, families, friends. I imagine tears, hugs, kisses. I see these men sighing with profound joy at being with their loved ones again after being alone and sick for so long.
But one of them follows a different path. This man, seeing his healing, turns back. Before he finds the priest, before he hug his his family and friends, this healed leper returns to find Jesus, falling at his feet in gratitude. “Thank you,” I hear him weeping as he holds Jesus’ feet, “Oh, thank you.” He was the only one to say thank you, something Jesus remarks on with a bit of sadness- “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine?” (Luke 17:17).
This is a season when we remind ourselves to be thankful. November is a month when our thoughts turn to gratitude. That’s a deeply biblical, extremely faith-filled way of being in this world. So let me challenge all of us, to seek out “the donut, not the hole.” To notice the good, the healing, the kindness of God. And then, before we run to enjoy it, to do this like the healed leper, fall at Jesus’ feet and say, “oh, thank you!”