A blessing for weeks when we give thanks

As we in the United States prepare for Thanksgiving Day, many of us are caught in the space where we are grateful while wishing things were different at the same time. Our lives these days are anything but perfect, but they’re real, and there’s beauty to be found in that. One day we will look back and we will remember the pockets of goodness we were able to find in this time. We will be thankful for our beautiful honest things because they tell our stories, the stories of who we are today, right now, as we figure this new thing out.

So this week may we be blessed as we give thanks:

for a fridge that is full and children’s bellies that are too;
for music that soothes;
for the click of the heater turning on
and the weight of the knit blanket across our knees;
for the smell of orange peels and peppermint;
for the holy way we roll out dough on our countertops
like our mothers before us did
while they prepared to feed their families;
for health insurance;
for the technology that allows us to work from home
and still earn a paycheck;
for the psalms;
for the smaller, more intimate gatherings around our tables;
for a planet that is experiencing less air pollution
as we hunker down indoors once more;
for slowing down;
for morning light on the yoga mat;
for texts and voicemails from loved ones;
for medical advancements
and people sewing masks for those on the front lines;
for the doctors and nurses
and all those who work in healthcare
who are working tirelessly to care for our ill;
for teachers who love our babies
over screens and through letters;
for long division practice
and stories written in brightly colored notebooks; 
for plastic whale sharks
and afternoon dance parties
and messy bookshelves
and soap 
to wash the marker
and the germs away;
for books and Bibles
and bouquets of flowers.
May we have eyes to see our particular gifts this week, even if to others they appear to be simply ordinary.
And may we remember Blessing’s sister, Prayer, and may we recognize there are many for whom giving thanks this year is more difficult.

May we pray
for the children who miss
playing with their friends
and parents who hear the cries
and feel the guilt because of deadlines;
for the elderly who live alone;
for the mamas wondering where the next meal is going to come from;
for the laid-off
and struggling small businesses;
for the grandparents who miss their grandkids
and those who can’t shelter 
in place
because they have no roof over their heads;
for families afraid of losing their food stamps and
for families who hoard
at the expense of others;
for teens stocking grocery shelves
and tired cashiers
and our healthcare heroes
and transport truck drivers;
for children with cancer
and their families who face the
heartbreaking reality of having to say goodbye;
for those who live in food deserts and
out-of-grid areas
because our society still doesn’t see internet access 
(or lack thereof)
as a human rights issue;
for leaders trying to do the right thing;
for those who quite simply couldn’t 
care less
about a stock market crash
when they don’t make enough to pay their rent
or keep their water from being shut off.

This week as we count our blessings may we do so with remembrance that we all belong to each other, and that we’re called to celebrate with those who celebrate but also mourn with those who grieve. May we find ways to be comfort to those who need it in these strange, socially-distanced times. May we remember to love our neighbors as much as we love ourselves and know that, through word or deed, we have the capacity to be be someone else’s blessing.

You are loved this week, friends. This week and every week.