In the city of Boston, there is a bronze statue of Abraham Lincoln in Park Square.
It shows two slaves kneeling before Lincoln, who is in the act of striking the manacles from their wrists.
It a notable work of art, a moving and tender human story.
The suppliant attitude of the freed slaves, the look of gratitude on their faces, the strong strokes breaking the chains, the kind look on the face of the emancipator, reminds one of what a great thing it is to break the chains which bind human beings.1
In Luke 17, we have the story of Christ healing the ten lepers.
However, nine of them never came back to express their gratitude. The one who did return, Luke points out, was “a Samaritan.”
Not only did this Samaritan leper receive an outward cleansing, but he was blessed with an inner cleansing as well.
Karl Barth stated, “Grace always demands the answer of gratitude. Grace and gratitude belong together like heaven and earth. Grace evokes gratitude like the voice of an echo. Gratitude follows grace like thunder follows lightning.”2
During the days following the Civil War, two boats passed each other on the Mississippi River.
A black workman on one boat pointed to the other boat, and said to a white passenger beside him,
“Look, there’s the captain.“Look, there’s the captain."
Years ago, we were going along like this when I fell overboard, and the captain rescued me. And ever since then, I just loves to point him out!”
We all were once in waters too deep for us to survive in, but the Captain of our salvation leaped overboard and came from heaven to earth to rescue us. We should always be ready to point Him out with our gratitude.3
“Gratitude is the highest form of repayment.”4
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- Norman Vincent Peale, You Can Win, Garden City Books, Garden City, NY, Copyright 1938, p. 28.
- Christian Clippings, July 2006, p. 18.
- Vance Havner, The Best of Vance Havner, Fleming H. Revell Compnay, Old Tappan, NJ, A Spire Book Published by Pyramid Publications, Inc. for Fleming H. Revell Company, Copyright 1937, p. 43.
- Christian Clippings, March, 1997.