As you go into the day in which we all pause and give thanks, where we eat bountiful feasts and celebrate God’s provision, I offer you a meditation and a prayer. A prayer that also acknowledges that this day/season too often also becomes an occasion for thanks-shaming (why don’t I feel more grateful for all that I’ve been given? why don’t these people I’m at table with seem more grateful for me or me for them?).
May I have eyes to see the beauty around me, hidden though it might be beneath layers of chaos and criticism and busyness and family dynamics and guilt and shame.
May I lift my gaze to what is good in my life, for there is always something good – even the darkest of nights can be illuminated by a pinprick of light, like a star bursting through the black canvas of of a night sky.
May I have tastebuds to taste and see and relish and delight in the goodness of the Lord who provides. And if I can’t, may I pray to have my tastebuds changed – attuned to what is truly good – even if it means spiritual junk food must be jettisoned, or that I must step away from what dulls my senses (or whom).
May I practice giving thanks on Thanksgiving as a day of focused practice on noticing what I’ve been given. For I have been given so much.
And in giving thanks, may I see those with whom I am asked to share my abundance. May I see the poor, the marginalized, the orphaned, the widowed, and (even/especially) the ones at my own table who are lonely and carrying sorrows in isolation. May I create a space for them with whatever I’ve been given.