Thanksgiving reminds us to consider our many blessings.
I for one say, “Thank you, Lord, for modern medicine.” Because of it, I am walking after a couple serious bone fractures. In the not so distant past, broken bones could have changed my quality of life. Advances in treatment and physical therapy have allowed me to maintain my independence. Similarly, research and medication enabled the doctors to address the energy-draining heart issues that my husband experienced.
I am thankful for these and other medical resources, especially when I consider that doctors in Sri Lanka, an island near India, have advised citizens, “Do not get sick. Do not get in an accident that requires medical care.” All the hospitals there experienced a shortage of medicines and vital medical supplies. They struggle to maintain a constant supply of essential drugs and sometimes experience shortages of basic items such as gauze and bandages. The shortages in this advanced, modern nation originate from the impact of COVID-19 on this tourism-driven country as well as the rising oil prices, tax cuts, and a ban on imported fertilizers that has devastated agriculture.
We thank you, Lord, for what we have today, having caught a glimpse of how quickly it can vanish.
I am thankful for a full larder at my house and our country. Even during the Covid-19 quarantine, school buses transported and delivered sack lunches and breakfasts to students. Locally, Champagnolle Landing provided a similar service for designated adults. The generosity of other folk’s contributions to food banks and soup kitchens plus government programs provide a hedge of protection. Even with the inflationary prices at the grocery market sending more to these resources, food banks’ doors remain open.
Countries such as Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Sudan, Yemen and other places do not have such bounty. Their children waste away for lack of food since war and drought created a famine. Without leaving our lounge chairs, we hear of their plight in the mid-East, the Ukraine or Africa and write a check out of our abundance.
Our nation enjoys an abundance of everything. The covid-19 quarantine sent us home – to clean out that abundance in our cupboards, attics and closets. Overwhelmed thrift stores began declining donations until they could reopen and deal with the excess of our abundance.
For this our bounty of so much to share, we thank you, Lord.
We know all this because we enjoy instant communication. Our nation’s Founding Fathers had no such luxury as a recent reading of Roger William’s biography reminds me. He left England seeking to worship his way. Setting sail with his wife, he knew months would pass before their family would hear they had safely arrived and were not part of the fourth of the immigrants who died.
That situation is quite incomprehensible to today’s parents who monitor their child’s movements via cell-phone tracking. The texts, instant messages and email whic ensure immediate interaction can be annoying. Still, I am thankful for any and all means I can use to contact friends and family.
Living in the New England colonies, Williams’ persistent quest for personal, individual freedom to worship impacted the local leadership who disagreed with him. They rejected him. However, in time, his views influenced the writing of the first amendment of the Constitution prohibiting Congress from establishing one religion or preventing worship.
Compared to many other countries around the world today, we enjoy this freedom of worship that even Williams could not have comprehended in his time.
Thank you, Lord, for the stand Roger Williams (and others) took at the risk of their lives. His actions shape my options today and bless us all.
For these many blessings we thank you Lord.