Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Babette’s Feast: The Healing Power of Gratitude

One of my favorite movies is an endearing foreign film entitled, Babette’s Feast.  The setting is a small coastal danish town where twin sisters live a pious life as daughters of a Lutheran  minister who founded a religious sect. The sisters live a rather austere life with little enjoyment. Enjoying food was frowned upon.

Babette, a political refugee, arrives in the town and moves in with the sisters. Unbeknownest to the sisters, Babette is an exquisite chef from Paris. Babette wins the lottery and uses all of her money to throw an elaborate feast for the church members. The elaborate feast loosens the uptight and bitter congregation and is enjoyed. Healing and reconciliation of many broken relationships begins to happen. Babette not only teaches the sisters that pious living does not have to include a lack of pleasure and enjoyment but also demonstrates that bitterness can be overcome by gratitude.


Have you thought about gratitude as a source of healing?

Giving is uplifting. Gratitude lowers stress in our physical bodies, boosting our immune systems. It combats depression, helps us forgive and cope better with disappointments. And like the story of Babette’s feast, gratitude brings life and healing.

Feast and enjoy. In the process, give thanks!


Suggested reading to uplift your spirit:

John Tierney, “A Serving of Gratitude May Save the Day,”The New York Times, November 21, 2011.

Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project, Harper Books, 2009.

G.K. Chesterton, “The Strangest Story in the World,” Trinity Forum Reading, 2009.


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