As I write this, I am listening to the rain on my roof. For us North Westerner’s we are no strangers to water falling from the sky. It’s a familiar and soothing sound.
But today, I can’t help but think about the 45 people living in a homeless encampment a quarter of a mile from my home. Tent City 3 had been unable to find a church that would let them camp and so for the first time since 2000, they set up their tents on a small piece of public land near I-5 in North Seattle. They have moved 70 times in the last 14 years. I am sure that this driving cold rain on an early Sunday morning in November is no comfort for them.
Thanksgiving is a non-religious holiday that gives us a day to reconnect with friends and family. It’s uncomplicated–there is no pressure to buy gifts or run all over creation. It’s a feast day. We get to stuff ourselves, hang out, and get a day off from work. What’s not to like?
On Thanksgiving, I always like to ask the kids and adults at our table what they feel grateful for. For many of us, despite whatever challenges we may be experiencing at this time, there is much good fortune to consider.
I feel very fortunate to be an American and to live in this great nation. I have a loving family. My kids are healthy and happy. I have good friends, a great job, wonderful co-workers, and I get to come to work everyday and help others!
As Thanksgiving looms, just a few days away, I am thinking about my neighbors, a few blocks away, living in tents. I think about those of us missing loved ones this Thanksgiving that have passed away this year. This is the first year that I won’t be going to visit my mother in Florida who passed away last March. I think about those who are ill. For some of us, this Thanksgiving may be a mixture of sweet and sad.
Take a moment out of your Thanksgiving to commit to help those of our community that are less fortunate. Take some time to be truly thankful for what you have. Take some time to let your family and friends know how much you love them.
What are your Thanksgiving traditions?