As we struggle to finish work so that we can walk away for a few days to feast with loved ones…
As we anticipate how snow will potentially wreak havoc on travel plans…
As we pause, telling ourselves we have so very much for which we are grateful to God…
…we grasp for grace that can be found only in God, through God and with God.
I’m carrying a few heavy intentions on my heart today. Though the struggles are not mine, the pain they inflict has me deeply cognizant of the many for whom “Thanksgiving” is anything but a holiday:
The lonely, who will dine in solitude
The homeless, who will welcome the scraps from our bountiful tables
The addicted, for whom feasting is equal to sinning
The hopeless, who in their desperation cannot see an end in sight to their suffering.
They are on my heart today.
As I’m supposed to be shopping and cooking, but I can’t seem to do anything but ponder how they feel today.
The fixer in me wants to find a quantum fix for a world where in anger we burn our own communities. The peacemaker in me wants to hug those in broken relationships and wish upon them some of the bountiful love I feel in my own life. The one who struggles with her own addictions and demons wants to lone them some of the willpower that she finds only in trusting God’s goodness.
I can’t fix it all. I sadly can’t ease most of their hurts. And today, even in my own bountiful gratitude, my heart aches for those who feel thankful for nothing, for whom the very act of living feels so burdensome.
In a fit of sadness this morning I turned to scripture and again found words which have given me hope in the past:
I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us.
For creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God;
for creation was made subject to futility, not of its own accord but because of the one who subjected it, in hope
that creation itself would be set free from slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God.
We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now;
and not only that, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, we also groan within ourselves as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.
For in hope we were saved. Now hope that sees for itself is not hope. For who hopes for what one sees?
But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait with endurance.
In the same way, the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit itself intercedes with inexpressible groanings.
And the one who searches hearts knows what is the intention of the Spirit, because it intercedes for the holy ones according to God’s will.
We wait. We hope. We pray.
and we try to love, to be present, to provide hope.
For in hope we were saved.
We give thanks, even amidst the pain.
and then we give our “Yes” to God by loving, serving, caring.
…even amidst, and perhaps even more so because of, the pain.
Copyright 2014 Lisa M. Hendey