not only to be thankful…

As we take time today to reflect on our blessings, my hope is that we would go beyond that. Often when we consider all the ways we’ve been blessed, we forget that so many around us haven’t enjoyed the same blessings we do.

Last year, I posted links contrasting our lives with the lives of many in America Statistics regarding poverty are always humbling to me, but I often forget that wealth is not the only area in which many people around us are impoverished.

There are dozens of statistics available regarding the state of mental health in America, but I don’t think too many of us would find it surprising that people we know suffer from depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and feelings of hopelessness. On Monday we talked about people who we see on a daily basis who say, “I’m fine,” who we know aren’t. We each know people who feel lost, and in a very real way we each know what it feels like to be that person.

My prayer for each of us is that we would not only be thankful, but allow that thankfulness to be transformed into compassion, not only for those in physical need this holiday season, but for those whose daily struggle is internal, who are struggling valiantly to “hold it together”, but who aren’t always sure they can make it through the day. I hope and pray that we would seek these people out and attempt to provide a safe place – a place where they are able to be honest and share their concerns without judgment or fear, a place where they are welcomed and cared for.

May we remember that this time of year, which seems as though it should be the happiest, is for many people the most lonely and hopeless of times. As we interact with others, may we each give not only of our possessions, but of ourselves – thankful for what we have, but caring and compassionate toward those who do not.

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