Reflecting on thanks.

“Happy Thanksgiving.”

I understand that’s a hard thing to hear for those who are grieving the loss of a life or of a mind this year. For those who are wondering about the next job, about the next step. For those who are missing family members this year because of service to God or country, fractures in relationships or health.

Some of those themes will be running through my head and heart this on this day. When people say, “Happy Thanksgiving” I will be thinking, “Thank you for your wishes but there are things you don’t know.”

And yet. Even as I write of my hesitation,  I know that I have things and people and events that I am grateful for. And grateful to. And I know that the phrase is offered as a wish, not an obligation.

I am grateful in this year that I can still remember the loving actions of my mother whose mind cannot remember for herself. I am grateful that I saw Nepal before the earthquake so that I can remember faces and ask God and others to give them peace and support. I am grateful for watching our daughter and son-in-law make commitments to each other, and our son and daughter-in-law navigate life changes with hope and grace.  I am grateful for friends and conversations and questions about God and what it means to follow Him.  I am grateful for you and your encouragement as we meet here. I am grateful for a life with Nancy that is full of quiet surprises and daily invitations to obey Christ together.

famAnd I am grateful that God meets me and patiently directs my steps and renews my heart, that he has offered me gifts and opportunities to use them. That he loves me.

Peace to you.

+++

Photo from Perregeaux Wedding Photography

 

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About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.

2 thoughts on “Reflecting on thanks.

  1. Jon,
    I am also thankful for many things this year.
    Holding my baby granddaughter for the first time…and then getting to see her personality begin to develop.

    I am thankful that my grandson trusts me enough to trim his fingernails (he really hates that).

    I am thankful for all of the answered prayers – even when the answers were different than I wanted.

    I am thankful that Jesus loved us enough to die for us even before we knew about Him. The cool thing is that Jesus would have done that for any ONE of us.

    I am thankful for friends who love me in spite of all of my flaws, willing to laugh with me when things are “good” and cry with me when I hurt.

    I am thankful for you, for the way you look at things, for your heart to reach out to others – to show the love of Christ to those who really need it. You are one of those people who have a huge impact on individual lives because you care about all of them. Thank you for loving God’s people – even before they begin that journey of following Him. Thank you for your faithfulness and for using your talents to reach others. You and your family have been through a lot this year; please know that many people are praying for you and love you and are thankful that you are the way you are.

    Chris

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