IS THERE ROOM AT MY TABLE?
Thanksgiving at the Jacksons' 2009 eden pictures https://www.flickr.com/photos/edenpictures/4139988152/
The leaves turn beautiful shades of orange, red and yellow in the northeast of the
United States. The weather, now colder, allows us to feel cozy at home.
This is traditionally the time of year to give thanks for our abundance.
We create a meal on that Thursday to celebrate this blessing, with many courses:
appetizers, turkey (vegan or meat), vegetables, starches and desserts.
My family has a course with home-made ravioli, a throwback to our Italian
ancestry. We invite family and friends who become the sous chefs to contribute
something that will delight. We enjoy a feast of culinary splendor.
The Syracuse Cultural Workers (Syracuseculturalworkers.com) have a quote,
which says, roughly, if you have abundance at your table create a bigger table. As
a twenty-and thirty-year old I remember asking my mother if I could invite a
friend who had nowhere to go. My mother always said it was okay and we’d
create another place setting.
Yet there are families who don’t have enough to eat or a place to live. Hunger and
homelessness are rampant in New York City. We can easily feel overwhelmed
when we hope for remedies to seemingly intractable situations. How can one
person make a difference? And, what would this look like? One possibility is to
encourage someone to find a job or placement at a shelter. A chaplain friend of
mine delivers food from a pantry to the working poor who often have very little in
the refrigerator. Others donate to charities which support families in need, or to
scholarship funds for college. What we give is determined by what is possible for
us. A smile or a kind word, which is a burst of love, can lift a person in need.
I’ve listed a number of possibilities for giving. You can add to these suggestions
through your own creativity. Just like the courses on the dinner table, it takes
individual entries to add up to a desirable banquet.
Paying it forward is powerful. Giving is powerful. Small acts of kindness add up to
a wave of change. Together, we can make a difference. Let’s bring more people
to the abundant table.
Enjoy this brisk, beautiful month.
I’ll speak to you next on December 2nd.
Peace and love,