As I type this, I am riding along in the car as Rich drives us from Memphis to Chattanooga. I am sitting in the back seat because the car is kind of small, and have you seen my son’s long legs? There’s no way Mark could comfortably squeeze his almost 6’3” frame back here.
But I don’t mind. I’m not even being a backseat driver.
Rich has a book on tape playing so I’m free to daydream and reminisce. I’ve been thinking about past Thanksgivings. Most of my childhood years we went to my grandparent’s house. I had to sit at the kid’s table in the kitchen. I remember one year when I was not content to be sitting at a table with my brother and cousin. I thought boys were sooo boring, so I sat there, wishing that I could sit at the grown-up table so I could hear the adult conversations. You could ask my parents, but I’m pretty sure that I freely shared my not-so-thankful attitude.
Now, as I look out into the passing darkness and gaze up at a gorgeous full moon, my heart overflows with thankfulness. I cannot help but count my blessings.
My family will be together this year, with all of my kids in one place. I feel compelled to whisper a prayer for friends whose children will not be coming home this year, some due to job commitments, others due to family rifts or even death. My heart breaks for them. I pray that God meets them where they are and wraps His arms around them.
I will also get to visit with my parents this year. I have friends who have said goodbye to parents this year. I pray that God wraps His arms around them, too, and comforts them as a Father.
Then there is the high school classmate who just lost her husband. And the friends who have lost siblings. I have friends who have recently gotten bad news about their health.
As wonderful as the season is between Thanksgiving and Christmas, it is a lonely and painful time for way too many people. So as we usher in another Thanksgiving tomorrow and begin the countdown until Christmas, I hope that you are one of the ones who can enter the season joyfully surrounded by loved ones, and that you can join me in praying for those not as fortunate.
If you are one who is hurting, and sorrow crowds in close to you this year, please know that I am praying for you. I may not know your need. God does. He sees your tears. He knows your pain. I cannot pretend to know the journey you must walk. I will not attempt to placate your hurt with further words. Just know that I’m praying for you.