This Thanksgiving I learned a lesson in gratitude from my sister Catherine Girard. Among her many gifted attributes, Catherine is a talented artist. She takes ruined shards of pottery, tile, glass, and porcelain and fashions them into beautiful mosaics. From these broken objects, a new and delightful work of art emerges.
She finds her material in varied situations. Some come from treasured heirlooms that slipped from her hand and fell to the floor. Others are bits found and collected as mementos from exciting vacations. Many come from pieces discovered in bins, unwanted and no longer in their original form, while others are useless scraps washed up on the shore from long forgotten memories of other times.
From these fragile broken bits and pieces, new life emerges. The fragments, designed and re-purposed, become sturdy creative garden stones, tabletops, and picture frames. No longer are they just a heap of useless objects discarded and ruined. Catherine breathes life into each piece as she meticulously sets it in a beautiful new mosaic.
As I thought about how Catherine designs her art, I reflected on how it resembles my life, and the lives of numerous others. This year for many of us life has become like those shattered fragments. Many dreams have crashed into a thousand pieces from some unforeseen circumstance. What we once thought as durable has crumbled. What we once assumed reliable has proven uncertain. Many of our efforts have amounted to shards of ruined splinters on the floor.
As we scoop up each broken piece mourning the loss, we also take solace in hope for new things to emerge. We believe and have faith in a new day. With it, the possibilities of fresh purpose and dreams coming alive. Hope still burns within us as each fragment is carefully fashioned into something new and beautiful. Love remains strong in our hearts as does hope and faith.
We are grateful then for faith, hope, and love…thankful to God that we have the ability to wake to a new purpose and a new day. We are thankful for new beginnings and fresh ideas. We are thankful for generosity and kindness. We have become thankful for little surprises and small pleasures.
We are thankful for those things that have surfaced unshakable and strong. We are thankful for a world filled with possibilities. We are thankful that broken pieces can be collected and put together making something new, lovely, purposeful and sturdy. This Thanksgiving we are grateful for faith, hope, and love and thankful that a new day is on the horizon.