Sunday, November 19, 2006

Thanksgiving Prayer a Bit Early

This afternoon, our family had the privilege of serving at The Lord's Lighthouse, a home-grown community service of our church.

About 300 people; some homeless, some down on their luck, some chronically mentally ill, all from the streets of Hollywood, were served today. This happens every Sunday, all year long.

The memory I take away from this afternoon, and everytime I serve, is of the hands. Countless hands, reaching up. Dirty hands, dirty fingernails, weathered skin, holding up Styrofoam cups into which I pour cup after cup after cup of fruit punch and coffee. Hands worn rough by life, by loss, by frustration, by mental demons, by being lost or forgotten, or downtrodden. All those hands.

As we gathered to pray before lunch, a Thanksgiving Prayer by Ralph Waldo Emerson was read:

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.

I looked at my hands when I got home to my comfortable suburban home. They seemed clean. But, you know what? My hands are dirty too.

Thankfulness is relative. May I be truly thankful, and may I live a life of thanks that is overflowing and spills over to others.
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