Today we celebrated our annual Thanksgiving lunch at work. As everyone went around the table giving their thanks and gratitude for the blessings in their lives, I listened to every one. Each of them had a personal story to tell while some are going through some very heavy stuff right now but they all offered their thanks. With tears and with laughs we gave thanks for each other.
I was last to speak. I didn’t plan on saying anything spectacular. I thought about what I might say as the thanks went around the table but I didn’t think it would be much. I thought about offering a prayer but there were many in the room from different faiths and I didn’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable. Then when one of my coworkers acknowledged me and gave thanks that my surgery turned out OK earlier this year, I was taken back. I had thought about saying something about that but then I figured I would just breeze over it. She acknowledged me and I was grateful for that.
It was my turn to give thanks. I acknowledged my family. I gave thanks for old and new friends but then I did something unusual. I looked at the faces of each of my coworkers. At least 30 people were in the room sitting around this large table. I acknowledged each one of them. By looking into each of their faces I said, “I want to thank each and every one of you, I am who I am today because of you. A part of you have contributed to who I am. I want to look at each of your faces. I want to express my gratitude to each one of you.”
It was a moment I will not forget. I don’t know where that came from. I had not planned to say those things but my heart wanted to, and I wanted to see everyone’s face. I wanted to look into their eyes. I wanted them to see me looking at them. Each of them are important to me and I’m grateful that God has put them in my life.
Thanksgiving is a day we set aside every year to give thanks to our family, our friends and the blessings in our life. We have much to be grateful about. Things that we take for granted on a daily basis, we acknowledge on Thanksgiving Day. We share our homes, our food, and our love with those closest to us. Many giving hearts make it their mission to work at shelters and help with distributing holiday meals. Others encourage and donate their time, money and resources to help those in need.
It’s the beginning of the giving season. Thanksgiving begins with a blessing and then the gift of Christmas follows.
As we acknowledge the things we are thankful for, remember those who are struggling. Remember those who don’t have a meal or a family to gather with. Remember the empty chair this holiday at the dinner table. Then look into the eyes of those who accompany you. Look at their faces. They have a story. Then give thanks to them. Let them know the impact they have on your life and how grateful you are for their presence.
Friend, don’t take those you love for granted. We are only passing through and our time is short. May each of you have a happy Thanksgiving. From your fellow writer, Faith Dream.