Thursday, November 22, 2012

in fully knowing God is our Great Thanksgiving

Monday afternoon, we drove to Rapid. Joel had a doctor's appointment early Tuesday, so we decided to make it a party --seeing as how Joel's BD was interrupted with a wake and funeral --so we went down Monday and spent the night at our favorite little downtown hotel, went out for dinner and slept in. Went to the doctor's appointment, got our oil changed, did some shopping we can't do in Eagle Butte, and then decided to spend another night --In the meantime, we discovered the Black Hills Humane Society.... And that's when Paeha happened.

He's a sweet little dog. Truly sweet. Mr Witty is still not so sure.... especially about the toys and about food.... Mr Witty WILL. NOT. SHARE. The good part for the moment is that Paeha doesn't seem all that interested in toys. He much prefers the running-try-to-catch-me game.

--coming home.... There were six messages on the phone, never a good sign. And, indeed, I am feeling guilty that we were not here so that I could have received them --I know about self-care and days off and all that... but this was a suicide... a twelve-year-old boy....

Lord. Have mercy.

So, the phone has been ringing off the hook --and I am so grateful for St. Mary's, Promise. I was supposed to go out there today for a Thanksgiving Day service --but one of the calls last night --they've cancelled the church service in order to be with the boy's family --to feed them, to pray with them --to BE church.

So, Joel and I will trundle up Mr. Witty and Paeha and go 100 miles east, along the River, and gather and give thanks at Ascension, Blackfoot --and share in the feasting there --and then we will come home --and I will continue over to where St. Mary's has gathered --and be present to the grief and give thanks to God for the good-hearted people who have gathered to be with this family.

At prayer this morning (from the Eucharistic lectionary for Thanksgiving Day, Matthew 6:25-33)

Jesus said:

I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?

Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?

And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these.

But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you-- you of little faith?

Therefore do not worry, saying, `What will we eat?' or `What will we drink?' or `What will we wear?' For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

I suppose it might seem difficult and even cruel to give thanks to God under these circumstances.... But it is not an indifferent thanks we give --it is thanks for/from our very being --and sometimes the most honest offering we have is our grief and pain --which can come from the core of our very being, and at that moment is all that we have to give.

It is a perfect offering --and not a contradiction at all to giving thanks --in time, with spiritual discipline and maturity, it is all one. Not the "same" thing --but part of the wholeness of our being --and it is with our whole being that we are called to know God --and in fully knowing God is our Great Thanksgiving --fully knowing God in that we are caught up and hid in God in Christ.

So, I went looking for some thanksgiving music --and this is where I ended up --in the theater of musical absurdity.... Oh well!



Some days, that's exactly what's needed.

Amen.

8 comments:

susankay said...

Margaret -- prayers for his friends and family and those who bullied him. Prayers for you and Joel as you go to be with the grieving. And prayers of thanks that your sorrow is leavened by your newest puppy.

Ann said...

No guilt -- you must love yourself to love others -- else there will be nothing left of you. Take the time off that you need- they already have a savior and know how to minister -- be present - breathe.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Oh margaret, how very tragic. Prayers for the boy, for the family and friends and for you. The passage from the Scriptures I quote below is one of those that I often wish was not included, but the words have ministered to me.

Though the fig tree does not blossom,
and no fruit is on the vines;
though the produce of the olive fails
and the fields yield no food;
though the flock is cut off from the fold
and there is no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will exult in the God of my salvation.
God, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
and makes me tread upon the heights.
(Habakkuk 3:17-20)

Perhaps it wrong to post the words here, but somehow, in spite of everything, I hope they are helpful.

Love and blessings.

it's margaret said...

Thank you susankay --and, yes, leavened.

Ann --breathing. Although grieving --it's the third suicide in as many weeks --all under the age of 25.

Grandmere --it is perfect. In fact, I think I may use it in the funeral. Thank you.

Ann said...

The suicide are so terrible - and prayers for the kids who see it and think about it too.

cloud-hidden, whereabouts unknown said...

Amen June, Amen! "Yet I will rejoice in the l
Lord!" "Even at the grave we make our song Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!" Otherwise, there is nothing... Yet...

Karen said...

Praying for all, those who are gone and those who are left in grief, and for those of you who minister to them.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Suicide is always heartbreaking, but a 12 year old? It shatters the heart. Prayers for the family and for their pastor. And, much, much love.