The Spirit of the Season Has Arrived in the Ohio Valley
The holiday season (Thanksgiving through Christmas and New Years Day) is the most favorite time of the year for many people. The cold air, the seasonal smells, the wonderful family meals, and the joy of just being around the ones we love makes it so!
Yes, this season of the year is wonderful. But where these holidays are a blessing for many, they are a burden for many as well. This past week I was touched by the kindness and compassion of many people in our communities.
Mostly by the Boggs family who owns the local restaurant in Midlebourne. For at least the past couple years and maybe more they have offered free Thanksgiving Day food for anyone who walks though their doors. What a great show of compassion and love for others. The best thing about it all is, it comes from their heart. They don’t do it for publicity of show, they genuinely care for others!
Believe me I know it was appreciated by many.While we often take for granted the gathering of family and friends, we should be mindful and compassionate to those who will be lonely during this season.
Where there is a need we should share our abundance with them. Maybe prepare a meal for a family you know will not have a full Thanksgiving spread. Or buy a turkey for someone in need.
Generosity is an expression of gratitude.
I recently spoke to a lady who struggles during the holidays. She said it’s a difficult time as she finds it hard to just provide a roof over her families head. Celebrating the season with a huge meal was out of the question. She said it’s even harder due to broken relationships, divorce and death.
We can make ourselves available to others, help the lonely cope with the intensity of their sense of loss this season. We should make giving to others a priority this season. Do something special or out of the ordinary with your giving this season. If you know of a situation, meet the need or give a gift personally. Above all, be sensitive and compassionate to others, use every opportunity to put on compassion and help care for the broken, hurting hearts of those around you.
After talking to several people on Thursday, some who had their meal and some who hadn’t. A young man who is living locally in a tent in the woods refused my offer to buy him a meal, instead he requested I give him the money. At first I refused, but then relented as the words of a great song came upon me.
The greatest version I ever heard of the song was performed by Ray Charles. The song was originally written by Katharine Lee Bates as a poem in 1893 and first published in 1895, it was combined with music composed by church organist Samuel A. Ward in 1910. Bates wrote the poem after a journey to the top of Pikes Peak in Colorado, saying the views there inspired her. “America! America!God shed his grace on thee.And crown thy good with brotherhood.From sea to shining sea!”
A common spiritual quality in life is that same grace. It was given to us all as the purest level of awareness, where a single spirit embraces everyone and everything. Grace is that quality in consciousness that enables us to feel safe, protected, loved, and blessed to be alive.
Remember this season the words spoken in the scriptures Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured unto you.
My mother who passed from this world 28 years ago this month, used to make pies when someone passed away. I remember the time she baked three pies to take to a neighbor who’s husband had died. She took the pies up to their house on the corner and no one was home. She left the pies on the front porch and luckily they returned home in time to still enjoy them. Her kindness and compassion for others left a lasting impression on many that knew her.
As I spent the majority of Thanksgiving traveling throughout Wetzel and Tyler Counties I witnessed some of these same quanities of sharing. As we continue through the rest of the holiday season and into the New Year, it is my wish that each and everyone have a blessed experience. That we all may have a warm place to lay our heads, food to eat, and friends and family to enjoy our time with. May the spirit of the season be upon us all.