Monday, November 24, 2008

A Tough Time for Turkey

This year celebrating Thanksgiving has a different feel for me. Maybe it's because I'm feeling a little bit worn out and worn down lately. So much time with hurting people, grieving people, people in crisis, can turn the brightest rainbow to dingy gray. And, with the economy in the tank, so many jobs disappearing, and our 401k's stuck in a nosedive, it seems like bleak pessimism has settled in for a long stay.

Last year about this time I shared with you my "I'm thankful for" list, and it wasn't a hard list to compile. And, of course, I am still grateful for all those good gifts, but this year just feels different. My thanksgiving feels deeper, grittier, more tested and seasoned than before. So, here's my earthier approach to Turkey Day:

I am thankful for the . . .
  • Peacemakers, those daring saints who bravely venture into that no man's land between angry antagonists and hoist a white flag, surrendering in both directions.
  • Volunteers, those eager hand-raisers who have somehow cut themselves free from their natural self-centeredness and freely give themselves to a worthy cause.
  • Caregivers, those sons and daughters of God who have learned to enlarge their own hearts by patching up the hearts of others.
  • Extra Milers, those relentless runners who set no boundary or limit on their faithfulness, who pay no heed to their own fatigue, and who carry us far beyond our expectations.
  • Encouragers, those perpetual cheerleaders whose words get us back on our feet and ready to fight for another round.
  • Ungrossoutables, (I think I just invented a new word.) I'm talking about those children of Mother Teresa whose desire to comfort and heal is so strong that even a squeamish eye, a faint heart, and a queasy stomach cannot keep them from acting in love.
  • Protectors, those modern knights who still defend the helpless and the innocent, the weak and the vulnerable, laying down their lives in the face of violence and evil, fire and storm.
They are all heroes, are they not? Each one brings to mind the names and faces of very special people who have "been there" for me, and I am genuinely thankful. And I want to be more like those heroes in the future. Maybe that's the best "thank you" we can give.

No comments: