Blessings are everywhere. If we only look.

Published: May 5, 2020
by Lawrence A. Carnevale, Sr.

Blessings. They’re all around us but often we have a blind spot for the gifts we are given on a daily basis. Finding and appreciating the good in your day to day life can be challenging.  The recent health crisis has presented us with many challenges. One of those difficulties is being able to find gratitude in the small and sometimes not-so-small blessings we are graced with every day. Our lives have changed and the world we live in has just presented us with new challenges and unexpected inconveniences. So, how do we smile?

I have found myself guilty of ignoring the silver lining in those rainclouds and occasionally have to stop myself from  being overly or unnecessarily negative. It’s easy to do during difficult times and if you’re around people with crummy attitudes it can be tough to see the good in things.  

As a funeral director, I have a constant proximity to death, illness and grief. Yes, some pretty heavy stuff. But I have also been witness to the strength of the human spirit. People stepping up during a crisis with incredible grace, generosity and  kindness. Friends, family and survivors shining through loss and grief to celebrate and appreciate a life lived. They have somehow found a silver lining in the face of loss. Giving thanks for having known their loved one, rather than placing the focus on losing them. Gracious.  Gracious, indeed. They are still saddened by the passing of their loved one, but through faith, personal strength and support from others, they have found a way through it all to give thanks. Thanks for having them in their life. Amazing stuff.

With that in mind, perhaps we can use their incredible example to find the blessings in our lives. In the face of a tragedy, they have found hope. Surely in the face of inconvenience, we can celebrate the good in life. The quarantine has forced some to stay home. If you have a home to stay in, feel blessed. We have to wait in line a little longer for things. How fortunate we are to have things available to purchase and the means to buy them. And how blessed are we to have people willing to go to work at the grocery store so we can feed our family. Social media is both a curse and a blessing. It’s at times toxic and unfriendly, but during this crisis it has kept us connected with family and friends we would have otherwise been isolated from.  Another blessing.

Blessings are there if we choose to see them. As a funeral director, I’ve been part of some solemn and grief-stricken conversations with people who have lost someone they love. But how fortunate am I to have an opportunity (albeit under somber circumstances.) to meet these beautifully gracious people. In the face of dire conditions, they still shine. So, there’s a blessing in that. A silver lining to having a part in the saddest day of someone’s life.  I get to witness brave acts of grace and courage. Through that I’m blessed and inspired.

Therefore, as we face the challenging days ahead, let us reconsider and reevaluate our circumstances. Let’s try to find those blessings. Those small treasures and silver linings we can easily overlook in our busy lives. We are confronted with a new and unfamiliar reality. Being gracious and finding the silver lining in daily inconveniences will make you shine. And it’ll rub off on those around you. Smile more. Even if behind a mask, it’ll shine through.

"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord." - Isaiah 66:9

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