"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Luke 6:38 niv
Yesterday I had a lively discussion with my blogmates about the conspicuous consumption that is a hallmark of the Thanksgiving feast. Back in the early years of Thanksgiving, the feast was a true gathering of the best things from the harvest. The women of the house prepared all sorts of specialty dishes that were only prepared for very special occasions. The main meat course was whatever was locally available and usually something that wasn't normally served except for holidays.
And leftovers were carefully planned for several days' meals. Nothing went to waste.
But in the current era, leftovers are frequently tossed out. Far more food than is necessary or desirable is prepared. And all this while our neighbors go hungry. I have two adult children with families that would go hungry if I didn't feed them this holiday. I suspect that there are other baby boomers in the same situation. Resources are slim to none. One of them has no food pantry within miles. The other is limited to one grocery bag per month.
I stopped at a Salvation Army bucket yesterday morning and dumped out my change. At the moment it was all I had. The woman was shocked. She said I was the first person who had donated anything in the four hours she'd been standing there. Everywhere, need for supplemental help is up and supply is down.
There are homeless people all over this country--and yes, across the globe--due to famine, war, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, and fires. Not a single one of them asked for their lot in life. All were helpless to prevent the disasters visited up them. For every one of those families, there are countless others who have suddenly found themselves unemployed because their companies/employers have been wiped out.
If every family that has the wherewithal invited another family that's in distress to have Thanksgiving dinner with them--and then sent all the leftovers home with them...if we all did that, there would be no hungry people on Thanksgiving Day...something to truly be thankful for.
There are generous people everywhere. We just need to get the rest of our neighbors motivated. Maybe they are embarrassed to open their eyes and look at the poverty of their neighbors lest they end up in that position themselves.
Quite a while ago one of my neighbors opened her home to us every single holiday. "Just bring whatever you have in the pantry," she said. Some times it was more. Many times it was less. But whatever it was, we contributed what we could and all was well.
One particular Thanksgiving, that generosity was extraordinary. Two weeks before Thanksgiving, my husband called my parents and informed them that I would be visiting them for the entire week all by myself. Then he went to my neighbor and friend, Joyce and handed her some money. "Go get whatever Anny needs, help her pack, and have her ready to go." So that's what Joyce did, even going so far as to take me to the airport and wave me off.
My husband had no particular plans for Thanksgiving. He knew how to cook and was well able to feed our four children. But it never occured to Joyce that the family wouldn't be having dinner with her family. Of course they would!
So while I pulled my fragile life back together with my parent's help, my neighbors generously opened their home to my family. I don't remember much of that week. I know I slept the first two days around the clock. I know that my mom showed me the bedroom and said, "When you want to come out, feel free. But as long as the door is shut, we won't bother you." I know that I went with my parents to my Aunt's house for the family Thanksgiving. A couple of aunts thought it was mighty strange that I would go off and leave my family alone.
My dad told the aunts that my family wasn't "alone". They were with good friends. And that's the best blessing of all.
When you're out tootling around don't forget to stop by Amarinda's Blog at http://www.amarindajones.blogspot.com/ where she has the Saga and other assorted observations. And then hop over to Kelly's Place at http://www.kkirch.blogspot.com/ where she has more info on Resplendance Publishing. Blessings on your day!