Thank Yous and Grateful Hearts

Share Now

I love it when my research on the Library of Congress website leads me to a fascinating story. Last week I searched for pictures related to the song and the saying, “God bless America.”

I found this wonderful photo of women singing “God Bless America” at a meeting at Epping, North Dakota, in 1942.

Women sing “God Bless America.” Courtesy Library of Congress.

Other photos related to “God bless America” were surprising. The Library of Congress caption for this one was:

Bread cast on the waters. Wherever in Poland the American Red Cross has gone to the relief of hungry and orphaned children, a new prayer has sprung into being. It is “God bless America and the Americans,” and it is here being said by the kneeling orphans in the dedication of their new home opened recently with the aid of that American organization.

The American Red Cross helped these Polish orphans after World War I. Courtesy: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, American National Red Cross Collection, LC-A6197- RC-3566-Ax.

The reference to “bread cast upon the waters” is from Ecclesiastes:

Cast your bread on the surface of the waters,
for you will find it after many days.
Ecclesiastes 11:1

The meaning, I think, is similar to Jesus’ teaching in Luke 6.

Give, and it will be given to you.
They will pour into your lap a good measure—
pressed down, shaken together, and running over.
For by your standard of measure
it will be measured to you in return.
Luke 6:38

After World War I, the American Red Cross helped Europe in many ways. They helped released prisoners of war get back home. They reunited families the war had torn apart. They cared for orphans.

I am grateful for what Americans did to help Europeans devastated by war. They served them again after World War II, including Germany, their former enemy. They served their former enemy Japan, too.

I am also grateful that those Polish children were grateful. We work hard to train our children to say “Thank you” when they receive a gift or kindness from someone. We have the opportunity to train them to be grateful, too.

I will give thanks to You, O Lord my God,
with all my heart,
And will glorify Your name forever.
Psalm 86:12






Share Now

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *