A Thank You Note

Since I started this blog, in the Spring of 2012, I’ve made a determined effort to post at least once a month. It hasn’t always been easy, and occasionally I’ve ‘cheated’, for example by popping in a simple re-blog towards the end of the month. Is it a little sad that I don’t want to see a gap in the months on the right of this page, in my Archives?

It’s not that I have nothing to say – by no means! No, I have plenty on my mind, but it’s my habit to think long and hard, perhaps do a bit of research, but definitely draft and re-draft my thoughts many times before publishing, because I want to craft my posts carefully and make sure I get my point across articulately, respectfully and logically.

There are a number of big topics I’ve wanted to discuss for a long time, but I need to be even more careful in my composition in those cases because when they are posted my ideas are likely to be controversial, challenging to certain traditions and orthodoxies. I need to get them right, because while I don’t expect all my readers to agree with them, I want them to at least have credibility, and provoke serious thought and debate.

That introduction was intended as an explanation of what I expected to be a particularly short post, as I feel that it is time for me to try to write more often, even if it is sometimes only a few lines about the thoughts passing through my mind at the time. Ironically the post is no longer short, and I haven’t even started it yet!

This thought came to me a couple of months ago during a Sunday morning service. I wanted to write about it at the time, but I didn’t think it had enough ‘substance’. Well, it’s a nice thought that keeps returning to me, so I think it’s worth sharing anyway…

As part of an all-age celebration service the congregation was asked in how many languages could we say “thank you”? I don’t think there was any hidden meaning behind the question – the message was about thankfulness and and this was just a way of introducing the subject with a bit of audience participation.

The number of responses was remarkable, we must have people who are fluent (at least in terms of gratitude) in several dozen languages from across Europe, Asia and Africa. I was very impressed. But the two that stuck with me, unsurprisingly, were from the two languages I learned at school – French and Spanish.

English: Thank you

Spanish: Gracias

French: Merci

I don’t think what I see there is a coincidence. I expect an etymologist could explain the historical links between the words and the concepts and how they evolved. But I just love it that on that Sunday morning I was prompted in a most unexpected way to say:

Thank You God, for Your grace and Your mercy.