Dr. Stanley Spence, Pastor First Baptist Church, Lincolnton, N.C.
Here we are again at another Thanksgiving and the retail stores are about to run right past Thanksgiving for Christmas retail bonanzas. Don’t get hurried. This is not a time for rushing through the seasons trying to give a gift that tops last year’s gift or lets my gift look like I spent more money on someone than I really did. This is a time for thanking God. Gratitude to others is another way of celebrating the times.
What if for a change, you delivered cookies to some 24-hour service group for their work over the holidays. Maybe you can make cookies or send a meal to firefighters still on the job, the hospital workers, the police department, yes even the retail workers who will have to work on their holiday for those bargain hunters and retail employers. Thinking of others just a little outside your box with a treat for them is a way of saying thank you. You may include municipal workers and educators who work right up till the holiday hour and through it for some emergency employees. I have long since been a fan of those who serve on the day of rest and gratitude.
I remember one particular time when I was walking down an empty hall in a hospital on Christmas Day to visit a parishioner who had emergency surgery on Christmas Eve. I thought to myself how lonely these workers must feel being separated from their families and then I saw them gathered for a moment in a breakroom sharing a brief meal provided by their supervisor. Moments later a nurse was answering a buzzer that sounded in the room I was visiting. She was so kind and generous with her care as she did what she came to do and asked if the patient needed anything else. I thanked her for serving on that Christmas day and she received my gratitude with a thankful heart.
Say thank you to a stranger who serves their fellow human beings. They need it now and then, and we need to. . . . .all the time. Happy Thanksgiving!
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