THANKSGIVING Day was approaching and I was dreading it! Each day I found myself becoming increasingly fearful and depressed. All holidays before had been eagerly approached; preparations for them had been pleasurable, and particular care had been given them so the children would feel cherished and have happy memories of family times. But this Thanksgiving was to be the first holiday when the children and I would be alone because their father was gone. Since I was so miserable, how could I possibly make it a happy holiday for my children? Gratitude for many proofs of God's presence was the beginning of emergence from the gloom. Since childhood I had had quick healings through Christian Science of broken bones, an eye disease that doctors said would result in blindness, contagious disease, and innumerable fears. Weren't these healings all proof of man's inseparability from God's love and care, evidence of the divine power, available to all, that Christ Jesus illustrated in his healing ministry?
Then there came an unexpected telephone call from a friend of my mother's who, toward the end of the conversation, indicated that she and her husband would be spending the day alone for the first time. Surprised, because they had a large family, I explained that we were alone too. So she and her husband joined us. She said she was so grateful she had felt impelled to make the telephone call.
Gratitude! Thanksgiving Day had its beginnings in the United States in gratitude to God for protection and provision. It was evident that when I began to make an effort to express gratitude for God's presence instead of bemoaning a person's absence, there was increasing evidence of God's caring. I could not say who was more blessed by the sharing that day. However, I did realize at the end of the day that each had expressed caring, gratitude, and happiness.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, once wrote an article entitled ``Thanksgiving Dinner.''1 In it she speaks of being present at a happy gathering of four generations, ranging in age from babyhood to a grandmother of ninety-six. But Mrs. Eddy, whose love embraced all mankind, was also praying for ``the desolate home,'' for those who with ``tear-filled eyes'' looked for loved ones who would never come.
The book of Psalms directs us to ``trust in him [God] at all times.'' And it makes clear, ``Unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy.''2 God has no favored sons and daughters. His love is ever present with each of us, because the true being of each one is His very outcome, the image of divine Love. When we resolve to be grateful for blessings received, we discover that needs of the moment are being met in ways we could not have anticipated. Opportunities to comfort and care for others become apparent, and, in reflecting God's love, we acknowledge that we are loved. We can trust God to love us and love all!
Instead of waiting for people to bring love to us or being depressed because we are faced with loneliness while others are happily preparing for a gala time, we can begin to find our way out of loneliness by being grateful for good expressed in the past and the good expressed as we go through each day.
Mrs. Eddy writes, ``While no offering can liquidate one's debt of gratitude to God, the fervent heart and willing hand are not unknown to nor unrewarded by Him.''3 A fervent heart will sincerely seek to express love for God by expressing love for His manifestation, man. Whether we are with others or are alone, liberation from loneliness is certain if we thank God for His love in giving to mankind all the good that has ever been expressed. Then will surely follow the opportunity to extend the ``willing hand'' to others, and we will discover that we are warmly embraced in the love of the divine Love we are reflecting.
1See Miscellaneous Writings, pp. 230-232. 2Psalms 62:8, 12. 3Mis., p. xi. You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine.
Daily Bible Verse:O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. Psalms 34:8