Can you believe October is almost over? Before we blink twice we will be cutting the Thanksgiving turkey and singing Christmas carols. But before we get that turkey carved, let’s slow down and enjoy the days of Thanksgiving.
Days? Of Thanksgiving? Yes. Days of Thanksgiving. I know this has been a year that we wish we could rewind and start again.
It has been a year of separation from family and friends and a normal way of life that we in this close knit community haven’t been able to live.
We will continue to face these coming days without those we love that were suddenly taken away as we yet find it hard to understand why some are taken and some are left.
But yet, God gives us this little space of time, this coming month to reflect on the blessings that remain.
Annie Johnson Flint wrote a poem about that. It says: There are loved ones who are missing/
From the fireside and the feast;/ There are faces that have vanished,/ There are voices that have ceased;/But we know they passed forever/ From our mortal grief and pain,/ And we thank Thee, O our Father,/For the blessings that remain.
Thanksgiving, oh, thanksgiving/ That their love once blessed us here,/ That so long they walked beside us/ Sharing every smile and tear;/ For the joy the past has brought us/ But can never take away./ For the sweet and gracious memories/ Growing dearer every day,/ For the faith that keeps us patient/ Looking at the things unseen,/ Knowing Spring shall follow Winter/ And the earth again be green,/ For the hope of that glad meeting/ Far from mortal grief and pain/ —We thank Thee, O our Father—/For the blessings that remain.
For the love that still is left us,/ For the friends who hold us dear,/ For the lives that yet may need us/ For their guidance and their cheer,/ For the work that waits our doing,/ For the help we can bestow,/ For the care that watches o’er us/ Wheresoe’er our steps may go,/ For the simple joys of living,/ For the sunshine and the breeze,/ For the beauty of the flowers/ And the laden orchard trees,/ For the night and for the starlight,/ For the rainbow and the rain—/Thanksgiving, O our Father,/ For the blessings that remain.
I’ve seen some of those blessings lately. Wednesday morning I listened as the acorns fell from the trees close to the road at the end of my driveway. I decided now was as good a time as any to pick them up. So I scurried to the house and got one of my ever valuable tin cans and went back to the end of the driveway and to the west and started my gathering on my hands and knees.
A bit later a red Tacauma pickup pulled in my drive, I sat down and looked east, and Sherry Sledge laughed at me from behind her rolled down window. “We were just checking on you girl,” she said. “I thought you had fallen and couldn’t get up. I told Ricky to turn around and come back and check on you.”
“I’m alright,” I returned. “I’m just picking up acorns. Thank you so much for checking on me.” I went back to picking up my acorns, thanking God for friends who care.
Wednesday night my girls and I enjoyed reading the lesson in front of the Christmas tree in our room. The colored lights brightened my spirit and I counted the little blessings near the tree with their sunshiney smiles.
Thursday morning I stepped by mom and dad’s house. They were enjoying their fire outside in the new fire pit they got from my sister and her husband. We chatted while the wind blew softly in the trees. I walked away, grateful for a few moments with two dear people that I love. And then as I drove up the street Uncle Larry was outside. I drove in and hugged him right quick and went on my merry way, grinning from ear to ear over the small blessing of a hug.
Thursday night I went to the Gateway and took pictures of folks who turned out to celebrate those who have survived breast cancer and remember those who haven’t. It was a blessing to walk with these special people and take their pictures.
As I sat on the front porch Friday morning the little acorns I’d picked up were shining from the little dish below the flowers, and the little blessings of the days stole into my heart.