Each year citizens of our little community gather at one of the local church buildings to remember our blessings, celebrate our friendships, and sample some great food. It’s a tradition that seems to be dying out for some reason. The crowds get smaller and “older” with each passing year. As I looked around last night I realized that many of the people in attendance were the same people I see at town council meetings and committee meetings and church services. They are the “caring core” of our community. I suppose it’s true in most areas that ten percent of the people get things done and the rest either complain about what they did or are too busy to care. However, as I see this vital group aging I wonder who will replace them. I’m so very thankful for the difference they’ve made in my life over the years. I see their work each time I shop downtown or attend church or go to a ballgame at school. When they are gone who will make a difference? Will it be me? In a small town it’s not easy to say “let someone else do it”.
I also wondered last night why we don’t have more community services that ignore our religious differences and just celebrate our love of God. We divide ourselves into groups and emphasize our differences. We argue over strict adherence to this rule and that tradition. We argue over our interpretation of a dozen Bible passages and ignore a hundred others. Yet all of us are trying to do the same thing- please God and get to heaven. Why can’t we do it together?
There was a recurring theme to the conversations I overheard last night-“Who is coming home?” Family is all that matters during the holidays. We worry about the turkey and how many pies we should bake, when the truth of the matter is that we’d all eat canned soup if we could just do it as a family. These days children and grandchildren are scattered around the globe. It’s rare to have all of your family at one dinner anymore. My father is here and my son is close enough to visit, but my daughters are in CA and VT. My aunt is in CA. My brother-in-law is in Kuwait. The rest of my husband’s family is in IA. Scattered. So the four of us will enjoy our turkey dinner, but it would taste so much better if eight or ten of us were enjoying it together!
I hope you are part of a caring community of family and friends. I hope you count your blessings as you gather tomorrow. I hope you have a Wonderful Thanksgiving.