Today is Thanksgiving Day 2019. In many ways, it looks like so many Thanksgiving Days that came before it. I’m still married to my beautiful bride, Lori. I still live at the same address I’ve called home for the past 15 years. I still cheer for the Wildcats, I still drink too much soda, I still love watching sports and I still love eating pizza.
But as much as things are the same, they also are different.
This year, we won’t be spending Thanksgiving in a hospital like we did in 2017. Or spending Thanksgiving in home quarantine like we did in 2018 because chemotherapy treatments had decimated Lizzy’s immune system.
This year – 2019 – we will join with extended family to enjoy a huge Thanksgiving meal at Lori’s cousins house, followed by another huge meal with my side of the family. It will be just like 2016 and prior.
Yet it will be different.
It will be different because we have been changed. We have seen up close and personal the fragility of health and life itself. We have seen the good in people rise up – people we already knew and people who were complete strangers. We have seen generosity like we’d never seen before. We have seen the power of prayer, the strength of a hug and the comfort of a shoulder to cry on. We have seen encouraging words through texts, emails and handwritten notes.
We have seen the effects of Love.
On this day, Thanksgiving Day 2019, we are so thankful for each one of you, and how you demonstrated love to our family. I want you to know just how deeply each one of you has touched us.
And I also want each one of you to know you have the gift of love that can be shared with others. I know you have it because you shared it with us.
My hope and my prayer is that each one of us will share that gift of love with others in ever increasing measure. Share it with the person who cuts you off in traffic, share it with the person who checks you out at the store, share it with the person who takes your order at the restaurant, share it with the person who empties your trash at your workplace, share it with the person who disagrees with you on politics, share it with your neighbor, your co-worker, your spouse, your children and yourself.
As it says in I John 4:19 “We love because he first loved us” (NIV)
Today, may you KNOW that you are loved, and may you love others.
I love you.