The Neighborhood Liturgies


Where There’s Grief There's Gratitude

“You can quit anything on a Thursday” - Bob Goff

Today is Thursday. 

It’s not any ordinary Thursday, it’s Thanksgiving. 

It’s the one Thursday as Americans that we anticipate all year. In the weeks leading up to today many of us imagined ourselves meeting with our families and making ourselves as fat and happy as possible. You also start to ponder what you’re thankful for. Then, as the day of thanks arrives you wake up early, put on your best sweater, flip on a parade and emotionally prepare for the day. As the festivities start and you go around the room reciting your awkward elevator speech of what you’re thankful for and begin the usual traditions. If you’re from Detroit like I am then you watch the Lions tragically lose to whichever team shows up to play us as you baptize yourself in a river of gravy. 

For many of us native Detroiters we quit Lions football on Thursday.

Thursdays are a good day to quit things. 

In his book Love Does, Bob Goff told us that he quits something every Thursday because “sometimes it’s ok to quit”. I love how simple that is. It’s Thursday so it’s time to quit and even more so it’s time to not backfill the time and space. Besides, what good is quitting today if we’re just going pick it back up tomorrow?

If you interact with me on the regular you know that I’ve physically suffered and have had a near death experience resulting in a kidney transplant. Why is this important? We’ve been trying to have a baby with no luck. We know it can take years but, the trauma of having my body fail before combined with the anxiety of my body possibly failing again is hard to process. It seems I’ve reunited with my grief. The beauty of this is that grief is a refined emotion.

Interestingly, as we confide in others about this grief people say just be thankful for what you have and move on. I’m finding that often when people are met with the grief of others rather than embrace you in your supplications it’s easier to preoccupy you with what already is. It’s as if grief means to not be grateful for what you have. That loss or the lack of hopeful gain like in our case somehow means that what you have is no longer good. Like grief is void of hope. I think it’s the opposite. Where there’s grief there’s gratitude. 

Since it’s Thursday I’m going to quit believing that grief and the questions that follow are a lack of gratitude and hope. 

I ask that you pray for Allie and I to see through our perceived inadequacies and that you would hope with us. 

-Charlie Porter

Charles PorterComment