“Help, Thanks, and Wow”; the title of a favorite book by a beloved spiritual writer, Anne Lamott comes to mind as I begin this story, and I find myself thinking of all that has transpired during the past twelve months, both the bad and the good.
I ponder the sickness and death, the divisions and social injustice, the loneliness and hunger, and on and on.
But I cannot dwell on the sadness, grief, and anger that are so prevalent today as I struggle daily to trust in God, pray, and reach out to others in love and mercy.
Out of all that has transpired and all that I will or will not remember, I won’t soon forget Thanksgiving 2020.
Sonny and I and son, Glenn ordered our meal this year (I took a break from cooking!). I was warming our food when I noticed our neighbor, Cecil was at home alone, as I looked out the kitchen window. I asked Sonny to call him and invite him over to eat. As Cecil walked in, I asked him what another neighbor, Walter, was doing, and as he was also alone we invited him over as well.
These neighbors are brothers-in-law having been married for long years to sisters both having passed away. They are a close-knit couple of widowers as well as dear, wonderful neighbors and good Christian men.
As we masked up, with doors and windows open and social distancing in place, we had such a great time sharing stories as we enjoyed a gracious plenty. These guys are not only good friends, living and serving Jesus in their lives, but they happen to be African-American.
I share this story not because of our racial differences, but because Jesus continues to call us to love our neighbors as ourselves, and to see our similarities instead of our differences. It is up to me and you, especially now, to watch, to listen, and to wait with hope and thanksgiving for our Messiah, as we reach out to those around us.
If we simply continue doing the next right thing, we can help heal this broken world. Loving our neighbors literally brings the joy of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
Peace be with you.