On this Thanksgiving week, I am thankful to God for the dear relationships of friends, family and other loved ones - for my husband, for my son, my daughter in law, and my grandson, for my brother and my sister, for my in-laws, my aunts, my uncles and my cousins, for my friends, including many internet friendships that have been forged across the country. I thank God for and love you all. For my mom and dad, my grandparents, my aunts and uncles and all the other loved ones who have passed, I miss you most especially this time of year and I love you.
Yes, its true that sometimes the world doesn't look very pretty. You don't have to go far to see the erosion of common courtesy toward others in a society that has too often become self-centered and unconcerned with its fellow man.
A quick drive through town will test the patience of any driver when the "it's all about me attitude" seems to rule the roads as other drivers chat or worse, text on their cell phones while driving, not paying attention, running stop signs, cutting off other drivers and just generally ignoring the rules of the road.
Watch others in a shopping center or a local grocery store and see how they seem oblivious to other shoppers around them, ignoring shrieking and wailing children, blocking aisles, bumping into other shoppers, abusing the 20 items or less rules, and cutting in lines, locked into a world of their own "its all about me."
Go to see a movie that is disturbed constantly by the on and off lights reflecting off of a cell phone from someone who is constantly texting throughout the entire movie, because for them, "it's all about me."
Live in a residential neighborhood where homes are in close proximity and you won't have to go far to see the one neighbor who allows their out of control, screaming children to run wild, or plays loud and obnoxious and often obscene music outside that can be heard blocks away, or allows their dogs to bark incessantly for hours in their backyards while they watch television or sleep off a hangover inside, ignoring the animal's call for attention, or perhaps they "decorate" their yard with clutter and junk or unkempt lawns, because for them, "its all about me."
Or try to get assistance at a store where the clerk behind the counter seems more interested in talking with a coworker about her personal life, her new boyfriend and what she did last weekend, than in helping you to spend your hard earned money.
Or simply take a quick look at some discussion boards across the internet, where behind the veil of anonymity, widespread disrespect, rudeness, hatefulness and bitterness toward others is all too often commonplace.
Yes, there are any number of reasons to support a theory of how hard it is to love others because it can just be downright depressing to see how mankind seems to have lost touch with the simple act of caring about others.
That is why it is comforting to know that I don't have to reach far to find people who truly care about me and love me - my family and my friends. Some of those friends I have had for many years. Others I have only just met. Some live in the world of the internet, but I have grown to know and care for them deeply too. When the world seems so distant and cold otherwise, knowing that we have a soft place to land with people we love and who love us, can bring great comfort and lighten our hearts.
Even still, it is true that those closest to us can also be unlovable at times, and the Thanksgiving gathering is all too often where that behavior will surface the worse.
It is these times - dealing with the unlovable world - that I must recall that I myself can also be unlovable, yet God loves me, even during those times, because it is His nature to do so. And, God commands me to do the same ". . . love one another as I have loved you."
So when the world at large and even my own intimate circle of family and friends can sometimes be frustrating and test my patience, or be at times, well ... unlovable, I must only look at how God has dealt with me with those same defects. Knowing that God has loved me through my own ugliness, compels me to go into the world to love others in the same way that He has loved me. Yes, the world can be a scary place, but I can lean on God to help me show His love, even to the unlovable, and for this I am eternally grateful.
In His Love,