I kneel on the floor, finishing the last few snaps of the cassock. My boy… he does such a fabulous job altar serving, but he’s not all that adept at fastening all his gear. Or hanging it up neatly when he’s done, for that matter.
So I kneel in the sacristy, helping him get ready, when another set of robes brush past me.
“Hi. Hi. Thank you. Thank you.”
Brief pauses in between each. I glance up, offhandedly, let a tiny giggle erupt.
“Hi! You’re welcome. It’s no problem.”
And life goes on.
“Thank you. Really. Thank you for bringing A. to serve today.”
“You’re welcome. It’s no big deal.”
We do this dance at least once a week.
And it’s not just me. Or my son. Over and over, I hear…
“Thank you” (for helping haul wood.)
“Thank you” (for leading the prayer group.)
“Thank you” (for taking the Eucharist to the hospital.)
“Thank you” for ______.
It seems so simple, really. This saying “thank you” all the time. I mean…
it’s two words.
Two super simple, easy to pronounce, should-roll-off-the-tongue words.
But… so often? For such simple, mundane-seeming things?
I sometimes wondered if it was really necessary. I mean, I figure I’m just doing my job when I drive A. to the church to serve. If we agreed to do it, then it should just be expected, right? It’s not like I’m making a major contribution or doing something extraordinary.
But it is in the simple gratitude that we feel our worth. It is in knowing that we are valued, not just for our grand gestures, but for our daily presence and lending of a hand. It is the “thank you” for the simple that makes us want to show up.
And so, I encourage you (and me, too) to be generous with your thank-yous. Don’t withhold them for special occasions or significant contributions. Heap them on abundantly.
“Thank you” (for finishing your breakfast.)
“Thank you” (for going to work without complaint.)
“Thank you” (for spending time with me.)
“Thank you” (for being a good listener.)
“Thank you” (for getting ready for bed.) . . .
And thank YOU. For being here.