After we ate I took the dog for a walk around the neighborhood. It is raining hard and cold here in Natick but I didn't mind getting out of the overly warm house for a while. Everywhere we went we could see lights on and extra cars in the driveways. In a few cases, the houses were dark. In a couple you couldn't tell that anything out of the ordinary was going on. I silently wished all of my neighbors well as I passed by. The holidays can bring a variety of emotions, some festive and good, others not so much.
I am praying tonight for all those people who are wrestling with mixed feelings this Thanksgiving. For each person the reasons are different, but still relevent to them. Even the happiest among us knows that there are cares and worries waiting for us tomorrow or Saturday, Sunday or Monday. For some the weight is heavy. For others there are "missing persons" still present to us as memories of times good and bad. For whatever reason, I am praying for you. I hope this weekend is gentle to you.
After my in-laws left I called my parents, who were sitting on a bus from South Station to Portland, ME where they had left their car. They had gone down to Providence to see my brother, Matt, and his long-term partner, Anita. I had talked to Matt earlier in the day and, no doubt, will touch base with the rest of my siblings tomorrow. It is good to have family, even when they are scattered about a cold and dreary New England. I am thankful for their warmth and their thoughts wherever they are. I am grateful for my kids and my wife and her parents, too!
Last Sunday I preached off of a text from 1 Timothy. I have been carrying it about with me today as a reminder of the goodness of our endeavors. Sometimes it is a good thing to have something to fall back on. Everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, provided it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by God's word and by prayer. (1 Tim. 4:4-5).
May you be at peace with God's creation tonight and every night. May you give thanks for all that you have been given. May you see and celebrate even the smallest successes that reside in you. May you triumph over the darkness and may the light surround you.