For me, Thanksgiving carries the indescribable joy and gratitude that comes with the miracle of new life. Monday, October 11, 1965, my son David was born. God’s second fabulous gift of love for our family.
The Thanksgiving David turned six, his grandparents came from Lion’s Head, ON to our home in Timmins to celebrate with us. While I was preparing dinner, Davy & his big brother Brad were outside playing in the yard with their Dad and Grandpa. Brad burst through the door yelling, “Davy fell out of the tree into the hedge. His face is covered with blood.” My heart pounds still today when I remember my fear, my prayers, followed by my gratitude when he needed only few stitches above one eye and in his cheek.
The Thanksgiving David turned 18, he and his brother returned home after their first few weeks of university. I remember celebrating these two wonderful young men who had stepped out into the world to begin independent lives. I gave God thanks for the blessing of their lives, both the joys and the worries. This year, we celebrate 50 years of David’s life. Even though he and his family live in Johannesburg, South Africa, I carry his Spirit and love with me to our family gathering.
Children, our own and those of relatives, friends, and strangers each bring a unique light into our lives. Whether that light is tied to worry and grief, or to cuddles and pride, it can bring love and gratitude. This Thanksgiving I encourage you to take a few moments to light a candle to represent all the children that have touched your life over the years. As you watch that candle flame, strong enough to bring light in a darkened room and fragile enough to be snuffed out in a summer breeze, let your mind rest on the memories, both difficult and good. Give God thanks for each child individually. Let your gratitude flow into God’s world.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14)