He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, ‘Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?’
Reflection by Janet Derby
Expectations. High ones can often cause disappointment, frustration, or even anger. Those of us who live privileged lives frequently find ourselves irritated by minor inconveniences. Why shouldn’t my drive to work be seamless? Why do I have to put up with the cold rain? Recently, I heard an interview with the comedian, Hasan Minhaj, who talked about the difference in his and his father's expectations about life in the U.S. His father, an immigrant, anticipated that he would have to put up with biases and negative attitudes and believed it was part of the dues he had to pay for being able to live here. His son, and other second generation Americans, found this to be understandably unacceptable. Perhaps that is what is happening in this story. The nine lepers who did not return to give thanks may have felt that they deserved to be healed because they should never have been afflicted to begin with. The Samaritan, the foreigner, had no such expectation, so he was full of gratitude.
Where do we fall in this story? Are we appreciative for all that we have been given or do we believe that we have earned all that we have and feel no need for gratitude?
Gracious God, praise to you for all the gifts I have received. Help me to appreciate each of them and to give thanks each day. Amen.