When our children were growing up, we had a Sunday evening ritual of lighting a candle after dinner and taking turns talking about what we were thankful for. Our then seven-year-old said, “Now let me just start with my un-thankfuls.”
Truthfully, there’s a lot to be un-thankful about this Thanksgiving. In so many ways, the world is a scary place where cruelty, terror, hunger, abuse, injustice, and inequality seem embedded in the very fabric of our existence.
The times in which we live are a sober reminder of the importance of the “giving” part of Thanksgiving. Each of us can do something to make the world a more loving, compassionate place. Sometimes, it’s just a word of encouragement, a genuine compliment, or a heart-to-heart with a friend. And sometimes it’s an act of service for folks we’ve never even met, or a warm welcome to those who come to our shores escaping unimaginable conditions.
It’s also a time to focus on the “thanks” part of Thanksgiving—to savor all the blessings of our lives and the moments of bliss and closeness we experience. I am so thankful, for example, that I have a husband who is my closest friend. Yesterday, to get ready for Thanksgiving, we decided we had to break down and clean the house. Let me be honest here: We HATE to clean. There are several thousand things we can think of that we’d rather be doing. But we did it, and we did it together.
Then we got to the really good part—sitting in our newly cleaned living room with a fire going and Pavarotti playing in the background. We spoke about how much we loved sharing our lives and making a home together.
All I could think about was: Is this heaven?
P.S. I’d love to hear about your “heavenly” (or decidedly un-heavenly) moments. Use the “reply” space above to make a comment. Thanks!