Written October 8/9, 2016
The rain falls as though someone were tipping over a barrel above, filled up with water, fed by a spring. The grass was not only greener and cleaner, it seemed as if it were about to burst with joy and thanks. After all, it’s the weekend of giving thanks here in Canada, Thanksgiving weekend, the day traditionally set aside — a holy or holiday — to say thanks for the year of harvest bounty. When asked, however, what they are thankful for, food rarely gets placed on the plate, as though nothing were there on the table, empty, void of content.
I wonder why we forget our daily bread?
One of the more profound and spiritual responses to what we’re thankful for, came from a co-worker who is swiftly becoming a friend. He looks at the life we live here in North America. I think of a nicety I enjoy like apple pie, doing what I am now: my feet propped up in my chair of ease. It’s not enough to place feet firmly on the floor while sitting. It simply is not as comfortable. Propped up, propelled into the air is the way. Now think right in to another world all together.
Haiti, swashing out from ocean pouring into homes, like a barrel filled, and the rain also, and the wind knocked out of them by a literal hurricane hurtling hurrying through. Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, buckets filled with bombs dropping, destroying the structures, demolishing human beings, mowing them down as if their flesh were grass growing green. Wars, rumours of them, reality for too many. “Bombs are raining from Syria-led coalition planes and the whole of east Aleppo has become a giant kill box,” Doctors Without Borders director of operations Xisco Villalonga said in a statement (September 30, 2016, Middle East Eye). And the kill box soldiers on.
One of the more profound Scripture I know observes it in a question: what do we have that we have not received? And since we have received it, why do we brag as if it wasn’t a gift? I work hard with physically demanding tasks wearying me. Who gives me the strength for doing this? It comes from the food I eat surely, and I work hard to eat in healthy, wholesome ways. Where does food come from? It comes from the earth, from the soil where lays the grass, grown green from the buckets of rain pouring down. The grass cleaned, crying out in joyful thanks. And who sends the rain?
We give thanks on this weekend set apart, Thanksgiving Day. I thank my God, the Creator, the one from whom I have received every good and perfect gift. I thank him for my daily bread, and ponder in wonder at why I get to live here, feet propped high, off of the earth of which I am made. It seems to me that one reason why we have forgot the tradition for this weekend is because we have neglected to stay planted. Years ago I remember smirking when hearing of inner city children discovering the milk coming out of cows, and not out of that corner store near them. Food, so basic to living well, is a great gift to celebrate. It doesn’t come from the supermarket.
It is well to be thankful for everything we’ve been gifted, and on this weekend it is best to give thanks for the harvest. Thanks living is a also an healthy lifestyle choice to work hard for. And what are you thankful for?