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Two Sides of Giving Thanks

Today is a national American holiday that reminds us to give thanks to the God of the harvest.

Yet the season of Thanksgiving often turns into an occasion to express personal gratefulness at the expense of someone else.

What I’m wondering is whether it is possible to publicly give thanks to God in a way that does not add to the burden of those who believe that God has withheld from them what he has given to us?

Who can deny that one of the most difficult experiences of life may be to hear others thank God for what he has done for them, while wondering why he has not done the same for us?

On the other hand, is it possible to be truly grateful when our table is bare while the table of others is full?

Docked Crab Traps

The two sides I’m thinking about have to do with the personal implications of a national holiday that is both complicated and blessed by the fact that in this blog and  conversation we sit together at a very large table– where the person sitting next to, or across from us, may be many nations and circumstances away.

PS Some of these same thoughts came to mind recently as I was absorbed in taking pictures of hundreds of crab traps stacked on boats and docks of a west coast marina. As I clicked away, a voice behind me said, “Look pretty sitting on the dock don’t they? Wish we could get them in the water.” I turned around to hear a professional fisherman tell me how crews like his had gone on strike because they could no longer afford the costs they were being charged by those above them in the food chain.

Obviously, I don’t know the whole story of their strike. But was struck by the fact that what looked like an interesting picture to me… was stirring up very different emotions in someone who saw a very different picture than I did.


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96 Responses to “Two Sides of Giving Thanks”

  1. sister-marylou says:

    Good Morning,
    This got me thinking about how much of what people say or do can stir others in personal ways. Been trying to thank God more often for things I take for granted. In my community, I’ve seen people sharing food, and essentials which prompts me to give more.
    Happy Thanksgiving

  • SFDBWV says:

    Happy United States Thanksgiving Day to all.

    Our Blessed Scripture is full of references of thankfulness given toward God, and the tradition of this Thanksgiving Day holiday is founded in thanks given to God by Christian pilgrims who were thankful for surviving and having a good crop and being in a new land.

    Like Christmas, and Easter, Thanksgiving has been corrupted by not just an unbelieving culture, but by those whom I call anti- Christ because they work hard at keeping the holiday without reference to why it is a holiday.

    I am always reminded of Elijah when my thoughts come to such matters, that no matter how depraved our society has become, there are always a remnant that does not bow down to the worship of the world.

    For that I am most Thankful.

    As for feeling guilty about having plenty while others don’t, I always try and have someone to dinner today as well as at other times throughout the year in order to share the plenty that God provides all the time for us. So I may wish I could do more, but I do what I can.

    As for thinking about why others have more than I, I don’t.

    I count my blessings and am grateful for them and for God.

    The gift of sight God has given me allows for me to see the blessings in my life and be thankful for them, not dwell on the struggles of life except for the fact that even through struggles I can see God’s hand upon our lives, and continue to be thankful He is always faithful.

    As for the segue from crab pots to strikes and to Thanksgiving….Well as Art Rooney sometimes said “That’s another story”.

    Steve