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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

How I Met Sam - Thanksgiving

Sam was able to take a day off work and he came and began to help with the immediate clean up - pulling out carpet, hacking ruined furniture to take to the dump, lugging things up and down the hill to the dumpster.  Friends came to help - there was no way to adequately clean the place - covered with smoke everywhere.  Dishes that were in cupboards were coated - everything needed to be washed.  Very quickly all of us were covered with soot.

This was the middle of November.  My parents were returning from their trip to the U.S. in just a few days.  We wanted to get some semblance of order so it wouldn't be so bad for them returning.  Still - I'm sure there was nothing that could prepare them for walking in to their home post-fire!  It was a week until Thanksgiving.  Mom was determined to host as she had always done.  So we planned and cleaned as best we could and worked towards celebrating Thanksgiving with true hearts of gratitude.

We gathered with friends and spent time sharing the things we were thankful for.  We looked around at the blackened walls, and decided to thank God that the walls were still standing.  We looked at each other and thanked God that we weren't home when this happened and no-one was harmed.  We looked at Sam and welcomed him into our lives with gratitude to God for bringing us together.  We opened the hymnal with darkened edges and were grateful that the piano remained intact.

We were grateful on that Thanksgiving, reminded in a very vivid way how brief life is, how temporary is the stuff we see, how uncertain are the things around us we come to take for granted.

Thanksgiving had always been a habit of cultivating gratitude in our hearts and directing thanks above - to the God Who daily lavishes His loving mercies on us.  This Thanksgiving would be no different.  Our circumstances changed, but our God didn't.  Our house looked a shambles, but our habit of gratitude remained constant.

A favourite verse of mine came to mind yet again:
For I have learned in whatsoever state I am,
Therewith to be content.
Philippians 4:11

Contentment is and was something we learn and learned.


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