Thoughts on Thanksgiving 2012

“Life is Gift.”  That is where we left the service on Sunday.  And that is no small thing, no give away line.

It starts with a critical claim – the cost of ingratitude is great.  Ingratitude contracts lives, darkens perceptions, dulls senses.  It lowers us quickly into the role of victim, and the anger and apathy that victimhood engenders. The question of “What are the costs of ingratitude?” deserves to be hammered around a bit. I imagine the costs so often escape our attention and that there may be a great deal of value in putting words around those costs.

Gratitude however occupies far different terrain.  Gratitude I imagine is a subtle art, harder to practice than ingratitude.  A case in point … I wrote recently to our board a note of gratitude.  What struck me in writing it was a dawning realization of what I witnessed that Sunday but failed to notice until retracing my steps, figuratively, that day.

There were of course the speakers at NewChurch LIVE Sunday, a mother and her son, who found words to share the experience of Hurricane Sandy and, crazy to say, the uplifting observations they were witness to in their town, a town where 95% of the homes suffered flood damage.  And there was more … people connecting, tears of support and shared grief, hands extended to help – all outside the arena of the actual service.  All inhabiting this orbit of a small church.

It is not that any of that in itself, taken in isolation, was overtly, dramatically profound.  It only became profound when I noticed it.  And maybe that is the lesson this Thanksgiving.  Notice it.  We function so often on “auto” that we fail to see that already is.  And what is is Gift.

 

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