“Lord,” the Curious Angel said quizzically. “I don’t understand these humans and Thanksgiving.”
“What don’t you understand?”
“Well, take the Gotrocks. They have a huge turkey and fine china and even kitchen help. They say they are thankful. Then, there are the Sopoors. They have only a small chicken, a simple meal. They say they’re thankful.”
“They are thankful.”
“But how can they be thankful when they have so much less than others?”
God smiled. Angels have no need for material possessions, so being thankful for them would be difficult to understand.
“Thankfulness has little to do with what you have,” God said.
“But the humans are always giving thanks for what they have.”
“True, but there is more to thankfulness than that. Thankfulness is an attitude.”
“It’s a condition of the heart. Come, I’ll show you.”
God took Curious to a humble convalescent center. “See the lady in the corner talking with the other ladies?”
“The one with the smile?”
“That’s the one. She’s outlived all of her family and most of her friends. Everything she has is in that small chest. Her board is paid by the state, but her heart is merry. She knows how to be thankful for life itself. The staff says she is the joy of the place.”
“Glory!” the angel said. Glory is the angelic equivalent of “Wow!”
Again, God smiled. Then he took Curious to a nice home. The retired couple had some friends over for Thanksgiving. Their children were grown and away. They missed them, but they enjoyed their friends.
As they tidied up, she said, “I hope the kids call.”
“Maybe they will,” he replied unconsciously. The kids did not call, so they called them.
“We meant to call you,” the kids said, “but we’re so busy.”
Later, in bed they held hands and genuinely thanked God that their children were well.
“They are sad,” God said, “but they’re thankful.”
“I’m still confused.”
“Let’s make one more visit.” God and Curious looked in on another home. There was plenty of everything except thankfulness. Family members were bickering. A child wanted to invite a friend over, but he was told, “This is not a restaurant. Your friend can eat at home.” It was awful!
“Then, thankfulness comes from within the person, not outside with possessions,” the Curious Angel said.
“I think you’ve got it!” God said. Yes, the Angel “got it.” Do we?
Wade Paris writes a weekly syndicated column, “The Shepherd Calls.”