Thanksgiving at the Heart of Worship: A Tribute to Dottie Dupuy

I was reminded this past week in a profound way of the importance of having a thankful heart, particularly as related to worship. We often don’t think of a funeral as a worship event, but a funeral should be a worship experience, particularly when we are celebrating a life that was given to Christ. The Dupuy’s, dear friends of our family, lost a very special member of their family a few days ago. Mr. Dupuy worked for over 40 years at Avondale in New Orleans and through hard work attained the level of captain, but you would never know how seriously he took his job if you encountered Mr. Ronald in an informal setting. The reason you wouldn’t know of Mr. Dupuy’s  accomplishments is that he didn’t take himself too seriously. When you were around him he committed his energies to making you comfortable and he and Mrs. Dottie were bent on  making sure everyone had a good time. Trust me when I tell you these people defined hospitality with  particularly New Orleans flare. I also want to pay tribute to Mrs. Dottie as I continue to remember the joy Mr. Ronald brought to all those around him. I saw Dottie Monday night at the visitation, and I must admit I was not surprised at all by her attitude. She was genuinely grieving the loss of Mr. Ronald, but she expressed how thankful she was for the years they had together. She was demonstrating a spirit of deep abiding joy in the midst of pain, and this sweet aroma of worship was on display for friends and family. I told Dottie that I was not surprised to see her reaction for she has demonstrated a genuinely thankful attitude throughout her life. Then, the following day at the funeral Dottie continued  to display an incredible attitude of thankfulness in worship. She stated during the service as part of memorial comments that although their life together wasn’t perfect that she could hardly think of bad times. In fact, she noted that it would be unproductive to reflect for a moment on any negative memory because they were so blessed. I realized in reflecting on Dottie’s attitude and  comments that she was leading us all in worship. I must confess that I am not as thankful as I should be. No doubt that an attitude of thanksgiving for God’s provision in our lives is the key to living joyfully and expressing a spirit of worship in every word and action. I am particularly challenged by this living testimony right now as my Dad struggles with brain lymphoma. What is my attitude in this situation. Am I persisting in thankfulness as we see the tumors return now for the third time. Will I seek to model Mrs. Dottie’s attitude with the challenges that lie ahead. Specifically, will I choose to focus on how blessed I have been to have the incredible years I have had with my father, sincerely asking for more time but remaining grateful for every moment and day that is given from this  point forward.

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