On June 7th I was on Thought for the Day on Radio Colne. If you missed me here’s a recording and a transcript.
Hello everyone, I’m Pam Glover and if you hear me struggle a bit with my speech, it’s because I have cerebral palsy. I used to condemn my nervous system until I read Francesca Martinez’s autobiography, ‘What the **** is Normal?!’ You may know Francesca, the comedienne, she was born with the same condition. She thinks her nervous system is magnificent the way it copes under duress. And, when I thought about it, I could see she was right. So I started to be thankful for my jerks instead of berating them.
Being thankful rather than grouchy is a strategy that has helped me to survive years being confined mostly within four walls. When adversity hits you consistently and you are tempted to ‘throw in the towel’ every day, that’s when you have to choose to be positive. I have severe mobility difficulties. The other evening I wanted a cup of tea, first my hand knocked off the milk bottle top and it rolled right under the table. Fishing it out again took some time as I had to position my walker three times to get the chair out of the way etc etc. Then I spilt the mug of tea and had to mop it up. Finally taking the mug on my walker through to where my iPad was, I hit a chair and the mug shot tea everywhere again – another mop up! Two minutes later my hearing aid battery went… At that point, I’m not sure what was in my mind, but it wasn’t ‘thank you’!
In our prayer meetings each night, our fellowship say what they have been grateful for each day. It’s an exercise that concentrates on the good things and underlines the blessings we have all received in 24 hours.
Of course, sometimes the blessings are in disguise. And it takes a spiritual giant to actually be thankful for horrific circumstances that you cannot see any good whatsoever in.
During the Second World War, Corrie Ten Boom was in a concentration camp with her sister, Betsy. In her book, ‘The Hiding Place’, she and Betsy had the notoriously worst bunks in the camp. No one would go near them because of the ferocious fleas that inhabited their corner. Betsy told her sister to be thankful for the fleas because it was written in the bible to ‘be thankful in all circumstances’. Sometime afterwards, Corrie discovered that the German officers were raping the women prisoners at night, but because of the fleas, Corrie and her sister were left undisturbed.
I believe, that when we are thankful despite adversity, our thankfulness reaps a reward that magnifies far beyond that which we can imagine. Call it cosmic justice or God. Amen.