I know it has been awhile since you’ve heard from me. My speaking schedule has been so very full this fall and my wife and I just returned from a wonderful (and much needed!) vacation in Italy to bring our crazy year to a close. In the new year, I will be transitioning to a monthly newsletter/blog format to ensure that you hear from me on a more regular basis outside of social media. But for now, as we enter the holiday week, I wanted to share with you this blessing. Feel free to share it at your Thanksgiving table if it feels right for you. And if you do, I’d love to hear from you how it was received at your table.
Remember each of you are dearly loved and deeply blessed,
A Blessing for the Thanksgiving Table
Blessed are the grateful,
Those who gather in homes near and far to enjoy good food and the company of others,
Those who give thanks for the big things, and especially the small ones, as they reflect back on their year,
Those who realize that it is not about what they have, but about whom they share it with,
And that the heart that beats beside them is the most precious gift of all.
Blessed are those who share what they have with others,
Those who set a grand table and prepare dishes for an entire week in advance,
Those who have food delivered because they don’t have time (or desire or energy) to cook,
Those who enjoy both the gift of the meal and of the friendship,
And find beauty and gratitude in it all.
Blessed are those who make room at their table for orphans,
Those who don’t have families to go home to,
Those who have been disowned by their families because of who they are or whom they love,
And those whose spiritual deconstruction has ostracized them from their family and/or faith communities.
You are of heaven and Jesus blesses you.
Blessed are those whose table is set with grief,
Those who’ve lost a parent to illness, a friend to a tragic accident, a sibling to gun violence, a child to suicide.
Blessed are those who sit with them in their pain,
Who honor their grief without a timetable, and who realize they are powerless to fix it.
Blessed are those that travel thousands of miles to be with loved ones,
Those who can’t afford to,
Those who spend their holiday serving food to others at shelters,
And those who have too much social anxiety to leave the house.
Blessed are those who share a table with whom they disagree,
Who speak up for the marginalized,
Who risk uncomfortable conversations for the sake of others,
And who don’t take their privilege for granted.
Blessed are those who keep the peace for the sake of grandma.
Blessed are the families separated at the border,
The indigenous people whose land we stole,
And those who are afraid for their lives due to circumstances they can’t control.
Blessed are the first responders who work the holiday for our safety,
The Black Friday employees who’ve haven’t been given a choice,
The snow plowers and street sweepers who clear the roads so that we can get where we are going,
And those who have just been laid off just and enter the holiday season with fear and insecurity lingering in their hearts.
Blessed are the toddlers, the elderly, the single mother, the single father, the person who is proud to be single, the person that longs for companionship, the married couple who is happy, the married couple who is struggling, the family with kids, the family who longs for kids, and the family with fur babies.
Blessed are the marginalized.
Blessed are the dream-chasers, the goal seekers, the fearful, the hopeless, and the wandering.
And blessed are YOU…whoever and wherever you are, whatever you’ve gone through, whatever you have or have not accomplished this year, whatever failures or dreams may still be lingering…you are of heaven, and Jesus blesses you.