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Posts tagged ‘thanksgiving’

Giving Thanks–to CNN, to Life

I thought I was thankful, especially Saturday night with a heavy plate of Thanksgiving leftovers for dinner, nestled into a visit with my parents. Then I watched the CNN Heroes show. Tweets earlier in the week alerted me to it. I didn’t know I’d be crimped, ripped, and left wondering what mystery wants to birth in me.

Driving home, fresh snow brightened the two lane road. Tears bubbled and blurred me for twelve miles. Starry pinpoints lit the pitch night sky. I imagine the crimps and cramps that assist in open heart surgery. Compassion and unnameable longing wrench me open.

I can’t–don’t want to–let go of the stories, the people. Men and women who saw a need and said, Oh, no. Then birthed, I can, I must, I will. All the CNN Heroes stories pinch me, a few in particular:

The stories are not new. Nor is the need. Yet, I am grabbed in a way that is simultaneously unfamiliar and life-giving.  These men and women simply–though I’m sure it wasn’t always simple–responded yes. Tonight, I wonder–ask myself: “Who am I at this crossroads in my life?  What can I do–where does my compassion intersect with humanity?” I will let this question gnaw in me, germinate.

What unknown light is mine to shine? What light might be yours? I give thanks–for you, for CNN Heroes, for everyone who won’t let go of humanity, community, hope.

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Good, enough? Give thanks.

A few nights ago, during a telephone conversation, a friend in his twenties shared, “You’re telling me I’m good enough just the way I am? That’s hard for me to believe. How come we never hear that message?”
I am sad. His words ring true.
I encouraged, “You are good enough. Just like this, right now. You are, and I am. We all are. No matter the circumstance. Certainly we can always be better, and there is value in striving for more. But, today, right now, you are good, enough.”

His words and my response  wrestle in me during this week of thanksgiving. I ponder, “what is good, enough?”

Then I remember “Wild Geese” a favorite Mary Oliver poem  found in Dream Works (1994). I dare you to toss her words into your heart. Give thanks.

Wild Geese
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
–Mary Oliver

Giving Thanks
I gaze into my own heart, notice the specific people in my life, and the increasing thirst in the world for healing and hope.  I am grateful, for my life and yours, for breath and  life, no matter how abundant or fragmented.
It is time to announce our place in the world, invite others in out of the cold to break bread, gather at our table. There is enough when we share with love. Let us love what we love, and love one another with welcoming presence. We all belong. This starting place is good, enough.

Who will you invite in out of the cold to join you at table?
What lives in your heart of thanksgiving?

Where Are You From?

Where are you from? Who are the people, places and experiences that shape and form the amazing critter of you? My son, Justin, wrote these words two months before he died.

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