Never Too Late to Give Thanks

Thessalonians 5:16-18

Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Thought for the Day:  It’s never too late to offer our thanks

My brother, Coble, was in the hospital when he was a young boy. One day, my Daddy was with him when a clown came in the room. He came over to Coble’s hospital bed and did some magic tricks and juggling for him. Coble smiled and laughed as the clown entertained him and it touched my Daddy’s heart. The clown didn’t say anything, but just acknowledged that my Daddy was there. Daddy thanked the clown as he was leaving. It wasn’t until later that Daddy realized that the clown was actually the very famous clown, Emmitt Kelly, Jr., and he was in the area visiting the children in the children’s wing of the local hospital. From that day on, my Daddy wished he had known who he was and that he could have thanked him more properly. Many years later, after I learned of the story and was old enough to understand the significance of Emmitt Kelly, Jr.’s visit, I started to give annual Christmas gifts to my Daddy of the figurines of Emmitt Kelly, Jr.

It ends up that Emmitt Kelly, Jr. had been born in a local hospital in the 1920s as his parents were passing through with a circus. It was in the same town that I lived after I married. One day, it was announced that Emmitt Kelly, Jr., was coming to town and that the town was going to celebrate his life with a dinner and time of sharing. My mother bought tickets for all of us to go to the dinner and meet Emmitt Kelly, Jr. This time, Emmitt Kelly, Jr. did not have his clown make up on. During the dinner, it was mentioned that Mr. Kelly did not speak at all when he was in costume and Daddy realized the reason Emmitt Kelly, Jr. would not speak to him so many years before when he visited my brother in the hospital. He politely answered questions for people at the dinner and then it was announced that he would be going out for a few minutes to change into his famous clown costume. When he left, my Daddy excused himself from the table and disappeared for a few minutes. When he came back, he was teary eyed and we knew something special had happened. After those many years, my Daddy was able to talk to Emmitt Kelly, Jr., while he was out of costume and could speak, to tell him thank you for visiting Coble in the hospital and putting such a beautiful grin on his face. Daddy realized that his opportunity was there to say an important thank you to a very important man, a man who had done something wonderful for his son. Today, I still have the Emmitt Kelly, Jr. figurines that I gave my Daddy through the years. They are on a shelf where I can see them each day.

As I reflect on this event, I think about my Daddy’s need to thank Emmitt Kelly, Jr., that night. Are we always thankful in the way we should be to those who do special things for us. I know I falter in giving thanks as I should making excuses for not writing that thank you note to people who give me things or do things for me. I think about the times everyday I should give more thanks to God. After reflecting over this story and the way my Daddy had such a need to thank a clown for what he had done, I realize that it is not too late to thank people for things done in the past and that I must thank God everyday for the things He does every minute in my life.

Prayer:   God, thank you for what you do for my family and me everyday. I know I do not thank you enough. Please help me each day to be more thankful to you and to friends. Amen.

Prayer Focus: THOSE FEELING THANKFUL

Emmitt and Coble

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