In his compact book Before God, George Stroup observes that we live in a time when many people no longer understand that their lives are lived coram Deo, before God. Stroup is particularly good in talking about gratitude as the essence of Christian practice. On that topic he quotes Karl Barth: “Gratitude is the precise creaturely counterpart to the grace of God. “ He also observes about prayer that “if one wants to know what a person truly believes about God, it is not so much what he or she says about God as what he or she says to God.”
I tucked those comments in my sermon file just before heading to Northwestern Memorial Hospital to wait for my daughter-in-law to deliver a child. Tests had revealed a hole in the infant’s heart, but the doctors couldn’t predict how that tiny heart would perform. There was a fair chance that immediate surgical intervention would be required.