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By Pastor Paul Gauche

Today’s Word: ‘Grateful’ as in… don’t wait for death to express it.

I’ve officiated at several memorial services lately. Each time the sanctuary became a kind of “living room” into which people brought their grief and sadness, pain and loss, and honest questions about life and death rooted in various layers of belief and disbelief and mingled with all manner of doubt and assurance.

Death has a way of creating a very holy space. It all belongs.

But in each of these experiences, there’s been a golden thread that was somehow able to weave through an entire community of broken-hearted people, gather them together, and carry them along. That golden thread is gratitude.

When my dad died in 2016, I received a handwritten note from someone who encouraged me to “Let the remarkable memories of your dad fill you with gratitude and let that be part of your healing.” Recalling countless moments of life with my dad with gratitude has been profoundly healing. At a recent memorial service, I reminded a sanctuary full of grieving people that in life, their loved one knew the power of gratitude for family, friends, and faith, and in death, their loved one was reminding us of the power of gratitude to God for providing the gift of life itself.

It is always a gift to sit for a few intentional moments and express gratitude for the good news that Christ walks deeply into our grief and sadness, our pain and loss, and meets us in our honest questions about life and death, which seem always to be rooted in various layers of belief and disbelief and mingled with all manner of doubt and assurance.

I’m convinced that we will experience a deeper thriving when, instead of waiting for someone’s death, we breathe the oxygen of the Spirit of life into one another by expressing gratitude while we live.

I’m so thankful for you today.


Thriving Reflections:

++ What stirs gratitude in you?

++ Describe a particularly difficult lesson that you were grateful to learn.

++ How does practicing intentional gratitude help you thrive?



Paul Gauche is the Pastor of Life Transitions at Prince of Peace. His posts are part of his #100days50words project, where he blogs about a different word each week. You can follow his project on Instagram (@pgauche) or his blog, Thriving Rhythms.

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