Thanksgiving for the Good and the Bad
Today, Eddie and I are grateful for many things, including being back in our beloved hometown. We especially thank each of you 1,000+ special people who have signed on as co-travellers on our Back in River City journey. This adventure is about uniting people with good hearts, good sense, and good will, people who love Memphis and want to make our city a better place for everyone who lives or visits here. We know you want that, too, so please help us by:
- Sharing your thoughts and ideas here or on our Facebook page (and please Like us while you’re there).
- Telling us what local public policy issues or current events are most on your minds and hearts, or those you want to know more about.
- Sharing www.backinrivercity.com with other people who love Memphis.
At Faith Anglican Church’s special Thanksgiving Eve service last night, Fr. Herb Hand reminded us that God frequently brings good things – things like strength, opportunity, wisdom, revived vitality and renewed love – out of the times of challenge and suffering that life in this fallen world inevitably weighs upon each of us.
Darrell and Sandy and Grace Hugueley have had one of those challenging years.Darrell’s Thanksgiving prayer, which he graciously consented to let us share on Back in River City, is a remarkable illustration of Fr. Herb’s sermon. I hope it will touch your heart in the tender place that only you know about, and help you to find the assurance of God’s grace and peace, whatever your circumstances.
My Thanksgiving Prayer by Darrell Hugueley
When we walked away from this table the last time, clearing away the empty dishes and remnants of the holiday, we did not know where our stories would lead us.We did not see the hurt and pain, we did not feel the weight of time and slow hours of waiting upon you, O God. We could not imagine how the path we have been down would twist and turn and bring us so close to your side in the travels of our spirits.Yet in each step we took it was as if we were only making our way back to this table, to remember it all and to rejoice. For we have all come back and are richer, fuller, more robust in our souls than ever.
We still have our hurts, scars; we still have some fears and doubts, but O! Such joy! It has increased beyond measure. And we are truly here, we are fully alive in your presence and in the grace of Grace.
Heavenly Father, guide us still. Guide us back to this table next year, a table so abundant in its fullness that it takes the breath away. A table so crowded already with reminders of how you love us and provide for us, sustain us, nurture us: Food for our bodies, family for our souls, and laughter for our hearts. Give us this day
this table, this altar of thanksgiving, for if we were somehow richer, somehow healthier, somehow wealthier or greater in any way, it would only be your faithfulness to us that could make it so. Even now in this quiet pause before the next lap in the race of our years, of laughter and tears, the next step on our journey the path of which we can only see a little way ahead, be thou ever with us.Ever love us, ever bless us, and this table will be the way we give thanks, our prayer of remembering, sharing, feasting, in your presence with us.
Amen, and amen.
As I reflected on past difficult times today in my own life, it made me much more grateful for today’s abundance of grace and blessing, when at present, everyone in my immediate family is healthy and whole, our country is at peace, and every American has the freedom to express his religious faith, whatever it may be. And so, from Eddie and me, may God bless you richly this day and every day.
Thank you from Back in River City!