The Power of Love and Gratitude

Midweek Faith Lift

December 15, 2021

The Power of Love and Gratitude

Rev. Deb Hill-Davis

Daily Reflection

December 6, 2021

           A nurse with Morrison Medical Center heard a knock on the window and turned to see a man with tears streaming down his face, holding a cardboard sign that read, “Thank you all in emergency for saving my wife’s life. I love you all.” She said she didn’t know the man, but this is why she does this work.

           “Gratitude is understanding that millions of things come together and live together in order for us to take one more breath, that the underlying gift of life a privilege.” – David Whyte, Consolations

             Affirmative prayer:  Infinite Presence, I wrap myself in gratitude. Every endeavor, relationship, and experience of my life is endowed with a graceful air of thankfulness. I am comforted, inspired, and guided by an abiding, indwelling sense of wholeness. All is well. Thank you, Spirit, forever. Amen.


We are at the 8th Condition of a miracle, which is the profoundly simple act of giving thanks, the consciousness or mindset of gratitude.  This is a mindset, which truly reflects how we show up in the world, how we navigate all the experiences of our lives: the ones we want and the ones we would rather avoid. So, given challenging life circumstances….5000 people and no food, what did Jesus do?  We know from last week that he looked to the heavens, raising his consciousness. Then what? Well, the next two words in verse 19 are “he blessed” which in Greek is evlogise, which translates to bless, “to speak well of, to praise or give thanks for.”  This suggests a whole lot more than what we might think of blessing!

This short word has two parts, ev, which means good.  The second part, logise comes from the Greek logos, which most simply means word.  So “he blessed” means Jesus spoke good words.  It is that simple, or is it?  Well, not really!  This word is the base word for our English word eulogy, which is typically speaking good words about the deceased at a funeral or memorial service! 

Many years ago, I had a school colleague who passed away. I had worked with her and she had been very negative, nasty, and unkind to me.  A friend of mine, also a school colleague with whom I worked at the time, sternly warned me to not say anything bad about the dead! Neither one of us really liked the deceased woman who had truly earned her mean-spirited reputation.  Instead, I should affirm, “I say nothing bad about the dead. She’s dead! Good!”  We both laughed! I think my friend understood the power of words, the true nature of logos, which actually refers to the thought or idea or energy, which is the source of the word. 

This week of Advent, the word is Love, and it is a powerful word, which we either speak too casually or not frequently enough or with deep enough conviction or meaning.  Our opening story about the man who tells the emergency room staff that he loves them is a circumstance that leaves no doubt about the depth and sincerity of his declaration of love.  And notice again the impact of his words on the nurse who reads the sign.  She did not know the man, but his words and his love and gratitude are why she works in the ER, not for the money, but the energy of love and gratitude and the ability to make a difference.  Words are indeed very powerful!

As Dr. Michael says on p. 122 of The Twelve Conditions of a Miracle:

           Words have extraordinary power.  Because they express thoughts, words are forces that have the ability to change and create…Every enterprise, invention, and work of art—every miracle—begins as an idea. Words are the agents that channel the force of miraculous ideas out of the mind and into the world.

Words do have extraordinary power to heal, to unite, to create, and expand our consciousness.  They can bring us together or drive us apart, so it behooves us to reflect on the words we say, the words we use to think about, and reflect on the circumstances of our lives.  Our memories exist in images, music and words, and bodily sensations.  That is a lot of energy to carry around.  What do we do with it, what do we make of it?  What energy of our words supports a miracle and what words would impede a miracle?  These are not easy questions to answer and the answers take us right into our human complexity!

Dr. Michael calls the words we say in blessing “an affirmation.”  These words channel the power of positive thought forms from the confines in our mind into the world.  We have the Unity prayer practice of Affirmations and Denials.  Well what about these practices, what is it that makes them useful, especially for generating miracles?  I have to admit that most of us, including me, probably lean toward the process of making affirmations and tend to ignore the denials.  Why is that?  Well, when we look at the process of denial, we look at what and where we no longer want to send our energy, and that sometimes makes us look squarely at ourselves!

Going back to my story of the not-so-nice colleague who had died, it would have been easy and somewhat satisfying to recount all the unkind and hurtful things she had done and said.  In fact, I sort of wanted to do that in a humanly spiteful way; I don’t think I am alone in that either! Our very human minds get caught in that energy, revisiting, recounting, and reliving past offenses as if they were merit badges. We wear the offenses of others as if by contrast we affirm our own superior behavior, nature, and on and on.  But that is not what affirmations and denials are about.  They are about giving thoughts, words, and energy to what you want more of and stopping the flow of energy to what you don’t want.

Hmmmmm…..when that dawned on me, I stopped me reminiscing about a lot of “old story yuck” in my life.  It is of course essential to recognize and do the necessary healing work to really let go of the hurt.  We don’t use affirmations and denials to bypass those things.  If fact, it is a huge signal that if we keep going back to them and revisiting them, then we have more healing work to do.  Perhaps I needed to make amends for nasty things I said about other people at work, even if I didn’t say it to their face!  At least I knew where I stood with my colleague who said mean-spirited things to me.  I could be grateful for that, even if I felt irritated and uncomfortable.

And that brings us to this business of blessing and gratitude.  What is true is that when you let go of the energy that you give to what you don’t want more of, there is a whole lot more energy for what you do want.  There is a huge amount of energy that can go to gratitude, for a grateful heart is the basis for a loving heart.  Think of a time when you gave someone a gift and you could tell by the response that they were truly, deeply grateful.  That energy of goodwill resonates in both the giver and the receiver and beyond.  And it can be a really simple gift or act of service. 

One year for Christmas, I gave Todd a simple, metal expandable back scratcher, which he uses daily and for which I can tell he is truly grateful!  We both smile and laugh about how “valuable” it is to him!  I think it cost $5 at the checkout at a tourist shop in Minnesota!  Whenever Jerry and Elaine get “bad” news about Jerry’s medical condition, Todd makes them egg salad and takes it to them.  I call it his ministry of egg salad.  Elaine always washes and returns the container as if it were a precious chalice, which it has become.  Her gratitude is clear and Todd is grateful to do that one small thing to make their lives brighter. 

Whenever we get caught up in “awfulizing” about how things are, it is time to practice gratitude, to stop and feel grateful, even when there is no apparent reason to actually feel grateful.  When we default to what I call “pissing and moaning” let it be a wake-up call to ramp up our gratitude practice and energize and expand our love capacity.   When I worked in the schools, I gave a talk to teachers about the PMQ.  This is like the old deviation IQ: you divide the amount of Pissing and Moaning the person does by the amount of things they really have to Piss and Moan about times 100 and this equals their PMQ!  Some of us are talented and gifted in our PMQ!!  LET IT NOT BE SO WITH YOU!

Let us wake up and find that we are in a larger reality, the Reality of God and God's Love.  I am reading a book, Leadership Flow: The Unstoppable Power of Connection, and on p.33, the author, Peri Chikering, shares a quotation by Albert Einstein, who asserts that we have to find our Center wherein our Being rests.  He says:

           Becoming human is the act of making room in oneself for the immensities of the universe.  Unless we do so we cannot find our true nature.  We will wander in pain and loneliness…..attaching ourselves to one fragment after another, each taking us further from our center.

One day the light dawns that what we are saying and doing during each hour of each day really matters.  The light dawns that truly feeling grateful and cultivating the practice of gratitude is the key to being love energy in our world.  When we do that, love is powerfully reflected back to us a hundredfold.

I want to leave you with a poem by Roger Housden found online in

Earth School Harmony,

November 24, 2021

I cannot tell you how the light comes.

What I know is that it is more ancient than imagining.

That it travels across an astounding expanse to reach us.


That it loves searching out what is hidden

what is lost what is forgotten

or in peril or in pain.


That it has a fondness for the body

for finding its way toward flesh

for tracing the edges of form

for shining forth through the eye,

the hand, the heart.


I cannot tell you how the light comes, but that it does.

That it will.

That it works its way into the deepest dark

that enfolds you, though it may seem

long ages in coming or arrive in a shape

you did not foresee.


And so may we this day turn ourselves toward it.

May we lift our faces to let it find us.

May we bend our bodies to follow the arc it makes.


May we open and open more

and open still to the blessed light that comes.


~ Jan Richardson ?

(From ??? ????? ??? ????????? ?????

by Roger Housden)



Blessings on the Path,

Rev. Deb