Thanksgiving is this week. It is my favorite holiday. It is remarkably commercial free. Unless you watch football and endure over 100 commercial ads during the game. There are no Thanksgiving sales unless you count the Thanksgiving pre-Christmas sales but there is nothing you have to buy, no shopping you have to do. I know there is shopping for food but most of us do that anyway. People go to homes to celebrate -again mostly- I know there are restaurants open if you have to go out to eat but I am thankful I don't have to eat out on Thanksgiving. I am thankful for family and friends to be with, for a place to go, and for food to eat. I am aware there are many who have none of those blessings this year. There are too many homeless and there has been a lot of talk this year about people who are "food insecure" in our country where agricultural subsidies are increased and food stamps are being cut. I am thankful for food banks, Second Harvest, food drives, and churches who help feed the poor. I'm thankful for ministries and people whose work is with children who are poor, or abused, or unloved. I am thankful for all people who work with children: teachers, coaches, church workers, counselors, tutors, and, of course, parents. This is some of the most important work there is and especially today when we hear so much about those who seek to exploit children. I am thankful for places that offer support and love to children in need, like Hope Farms in Honduras which we heard about in church on Sunday, and all others.
I am thankful for my parents and family for when I was young I thought all families were like mine. Now that I am older I know how fortunate I was and am. I wonder about that. I wonder about that as I watch our newest family member, Tali, who was adopted out of an orphanage in China. Now she is in a family where she is loved unconditionally. I don't know how the mercy and grace of God works but I know it does and I have a lot to be thankful for and to share.