I recently watched Gareth Malone’s Christmas Concert which he put on for the staff of Watford General Hospital. No one who watched it could fail to have been touched by the story of Betsy. Six-year-old Betsy was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour four years ago. Her treatment has been successful, and the chemotherapy has stopped it growing, but she has permanent sight loss. Betsy described to Gareth how the tumour had been the size of her fist and was now the size of her little fingernail. When Gareth asked her how she felt about it now, this was her reply, “I feel really happy because:
The doctors and nurses are just such kind friends
I feel like I’m surrounded by very lovely people
I just love life
I just feel really happy and proud of myself”
I later read the story of a lady in Nigeria whose village was attacked; she was three months pregnant. Her husband was not at home when she heard the shooting, so she picked up a few children’s clothes and ran away with her three young children to another community. Their house was completely burnt down and the community they ran to was attacked also. People were killed all over. They arrived at a camp run by Tearfund not expecting to get anything but got a mattress, soap, a mat, a water tablet for purification of drinking water and a cash assistance. Her husband found them two weeks later and they were so glad he was alive. The lady writes, “Since there’s life, there’s hope. I’m so thankful. I feel so happy and thankful to God for blessing me, I’m so grateful.” The people in these stories could so easily feel bitter, angry and despondent and say “It’s not fair” but they’ve chosen an attitude of gratitude. It’s good to reflect on what our own attitude will be as we go into 2020.