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Giving Voice to Thanks

The Rev. John Beaty was pastor of a small United Methodist Church of which we were members. One day in a small Bible study group he said to me, “Today you are in the transportation business, but some day I see you in the transformation business.”

His was one of the voices that would play an important role in my eventual decision to go to seminary and enter pastoral ministry. Time passed, as it always does. He would be reappointed to other churches and eventually retire. I would attend seminary and began ministry in other places. Our paths diverged, as they often do and a number of years would pass.

One day, it occurred to me that the Rev. Beaty did not know that I had attended seminary and was now working in the “transformation business.” He did not know what his words had meant and how they had been a part of changing my life. I had never told him and said “thank you.”

Thank you for being a part of my life. Thank you for caring about me.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of year to be thankful for our blessings.  But sometimes we do nothing more than think about those blessings. What if Thanksgiving was a time to give voice to our thanks by sharing that gratitude with others?

Like saying “thank you” to those people who have been a blessing to us. Instead of just being thankful, what if we gave voice to our thanks?

Although I had never spoken to him since he left our church, I called the Rev. Beaty and told him that his words had been a part of encouraging me to think about God’s call on my life … that I had graduated from seminary and was now serving a church. I told him that his words had made a difference in my life. I don’t think he even remembered what he had said, but my hope was that it reminded him that his life had made a difference in mine and that I was grateful.

Thanksgiving blessings,
Pastor Cheryl


  1. Elizabeth Sidell

    What a wonderful story, Cheryl, and while I am sure we’re wonderful in your role in in the transportation industry, I know you are wonderfully warm, encouraging, and effective in the transformation industry. I really appreciated the handwritten note on the 1st welcome letter that you sent to me. It reminded me of the thrill that I got when I received a handwritten note from Dr. Jane Goodall, the primatologist, thanking me for a small gift I had bought for her, that was handmade by a friend of mine. So, we never know what effect we may have on others, and I wish you and yours a warm, joyful, grateful Thanksgiving.
    In Christ, Elizabeth 🦃

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