The air is spiced with fragrance, sweet and heady. Lights are casting their glow on the pitch of roofs and Thanksgiving is hiding in the opulence of Christmas.
With so much surrounding us this Season - the push to exist in the merry and giving, coupled with the stress and anxiety of a divisive election - it would seem that the sweetness of this holiday is grating.
May I invite you, here in the middle of a nation divided and the lilt of Christmas music; where hurt and pain are rivaling consumerism, may we pause. Light a candle. Sit quiet in the night, and here, may we whisper, "Thanks".
Thanks for a country that celebrates diversity and freedom.
Thanks for a nation that is greater than one man.
Thanks for a people who exude passion and care.
Thanks for restoration,
Thanks for the freedom to reflect, to alter, to transform, to grow.
Thanks for the opportunity to heal.
While no one can fathom the direction our nation is preparing to take and many are lost in fear. I find myself clinging to hope.
Hope that we the people will maintain love.
Hope that we will not be swayed by dogma, doctrine, threats, or shame.
Hope that we will cling to our unique diversities that unite us.
Hope the when we are shaken, we will not break.
Hope that we will rise above the name calling, the anger, the hatred.
Hope that inspite and despite all that has occurred we will discover the beating heart of this nation. A heart to love, to honor, to value, to respect.
While we may be divided by votes and it may look like a line has been drawn in the sand. May we find ourselves grasp the shaking hand of our neighbor and whisper, "Hope".
Because, I believe in the goodness of this people, each one of us. I believe our country will endure. Will prosper. Will bring healing.
We, one nation, are not so far apart as we think.
May we come together and discover forgiveness. The desperate act of value for each life, each person, each belief system.
We, a country of refugees. A nation mixed with color and religion. We are a beautiful kaleidoscope. Lovely, in our untiy.
Let this season harken to the joy of snowfall, the twinkle of lights, the gathering of families around the table.
May we reflect and be inspired by the true meaning of Thanksgiving.
May we be brave.
Brave to hold hands with those who opposed us at the polls.
Brave to forgive those we feel don't understand or value us.
Brave to rise above name calling and anger.
Brave to be the difference we are craving.
Brave to be kind.
Brave to honor, to love.
May we whisper thanks for the freedom to choose - how we pray, who we love, how we live.
And, may we ring in this Season, with joyous exuberance - that we are not destroyed. We are a hearty people. A nation built to thrive.