November 15, 2016, Detroit – The following blog is by Sister Nancyann Turner, OP, who ministers in the Rosa Parks Children and Youth Services of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen in Detroit. It was originally posted on the Capuchin Soup Kitchen’s website.
I think Thanksgiving must be a difficult time for those who feel bereft or abandoned. I remember my first Thanksgiving prayer with the children at the Soup Kitchen. Brother Ray and I had worked hard to promote prayers of gratitude among the children. One distraught 9-year-old girl shouted out, "I ain't thankful for anything. I don't even know who my daddy is." Her pain stayed with me for a long, long time, but eventually, her life got better and she often expressed words of gratitude.
Sometimes, I also feel pain at the beauty and simplicity of prayers at the soup kitchen morning prayer. So often, someone prays, "I thank God I woke up this morning."
Being with so many grateful people has greatly encouraged and increased my own gratitude. But I know gratitude cannot be forced and I will continue walking with some people who need love and patience and healing before their spirit can recognize gratitude. Hopefully, some day, all people will experience blessing and express thankfulness.
Even when times are hard, I must remember to grieve but not to despair. Despite many challenges in our city, country and world, there are, also, so many, many blessings of life, love, family, friendship, a beautiful moon and a rising sun…
Will this Thanksgiving season be a time you can share gratitude with someone? Will this special day be a time that you pray thankfulness?
"With gratitude, all life is a journey of blessing. Without gratitude, all of life is perceived as a burden.” - Jonathan L. Huie
"Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow." - Melody Beattie
Sr. Nancy, thank you for witnessing to the spiritual gifts of those on the margins of our dominant culture in the US.. God has endowed them with many gifts (e.g. faith, fortitude, hopefulness in the midst of hopelessness, etc.) to be shared with other members of the Body of Christ.
Beautiful and I picture you, Nancyann as I read it...and am grateful I have known you, the person from whom these nourishing thoughts come...Melody