i hope you all had a happy thanksgiving! i had a very happy and very interesting one myself.
an american woman who works for mercy ships called faye a week or so ago and asked if we wanted to come to their house for thanksgiving dinner... heck yeah! then we found out that it was a carry-in and we had to actually cook thanksgiving-like foods to bring with us. now, i'm usually all about the carry-in/potluck/schmorgasboard meal, but you can't make greenbean caserole on a kerosene stove. and of course, we were asked to bring the greenbean caserole. but that was okay, we've gotten good at improvising, so we tried. and we used the mercy ships oven. as you might imagine, we couldn't find french-fried onions, so we went with the corn chips option. it didn't work out too well. don't try it if you're ever trying to cook thanksgiving dinner in africa.
the moral of the story (or rather, the point of this post) is that i recognize that i have much to be thankful for. the common Krio (sierra leonean language) response to the question "how are you?" is "i tell God 'thank you.'" maybe it isn't even thought about when it is said, and i admit that it doesn't always register with me when i hear it, but it is a striking phrase in the context of this place and these people who have suffered and continue to suffer so much. it is easy for me to tell God 'thank you' when my belly is full and i know my mom loves me. but how thankful would i be if i hadn't eaten for 2 days and my mom gave me bruises on a regular basis? if my husband was dead? if my home was under water?
thanksgiving is worship. it is something that i must choose. i hope that i have learned enough from the people of freetown that i can choose to be thankful in spite of circumstance. i have seen that thankfulness isn't about the things that i have, it is about acknowledging that i serve a good God. a God who gives not so that we will thank him, but simply because He is good. all the time. everywhere.
i choose to be thankful today.