We Gather Together

Thanksgiving 2009, and the Warren clan is once again gathered together at home, an easier achievement this year with only one kid traveling from college.

We also have a houseguest, our cousins’ Border Collie pup, who wanders around the house with an expression of total confusion on her furry face. Our own dogs just sprawl on the floor, follow her with their eyes, and sigh.

At this point, I should offer something profound about giving thanks in general or the holiday in particular, but I can’t really think of anything at the moment. Human beings are supremely ungrateful creatures, and when we are thankful, it’s usually as an afterthought, like the tenth leper reversing course a half-mile down the road to return and honor the One who healed him. I suppose returning at all is an accomplishment–the other nine never looked back.

So much to be thankful for. Steady jobs, good health, children on the road to maturity and avoiding most of the pitfalls along the way. Friends, extended family, and a country that, despite its current struggles, is still heaven on earth compared to many, many other places, and collectively would like nothing better than to see war and poverty ended and no one, anywhere, lacking the means to live and prosper.

We will give thanks around our table again this year, painfully aware that no expression of gratitude can possibly suffice, and, I hope, with the understanding that if all our material blessings were to vanish tomorrow, there would still be ample room and need for thanksgiving. I pray that we will be ever aware that part of being truly thankful is to reach out to our neighbors in need and do what we can to help. Of all neglects, this one always seems the most ungrateful.

May God richly bless you and your loved ones in this season of joy and thanks.

We gather together
to ask the Lord’s blessing;
he chastens and hastens
his will to make known. 
The wicked oppressing
now cease from distressing. 
Sing praises to his name,
he forgets not his own.

(link – hymnsite.com, words & music)

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