Thanksgiving and Praise

Written on by Valerie Melroy

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays! Giving thanks intentionally, collectively, and publicly brings such pleasure.  I was taught to be grateful for all things, even adversity, and some of the circumstances of the past year put that gratitude belief to a test.  Wow – Voice and Vision passed with an A+.  When I reviewed the just released Voice and Vision Fiscal Year 20/21 Annual Report, found here, I was overwhelmed with GRATITUDE for my wonderful co-workers and our volunteers, partners, donors, funders, and all the individuals and families we serve.  Our work continued and even expanded, thanks to all of you.   

As I thought more deeply about the holiday itself, I checked to see when Thanksgiving became a national holiday.  My heart was stirred when I read Abraham Lincoln’s Proclamation during the height of the civil war in 1863 establishing the fourth Thursday in November as a day of “Thanksgiving and Praise.” All of what he said was worth a further dissection, but I found the following the most riveting as I feel like his words apply right now. “… commend to His [God’s] tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.” 

My heart breaks for those who are walking through adversity alone and for our great nation who remains divided.  Yet, I can still pray and give thanks knowing my prayers will not fall on deaf ears.  So, Almighty Creator, we ask you to heal the wounds of individuals, families, communities, and our great nation. That this Thanksgiving will be a time of praise and gratitude for all our blessings, comfort for all those mourning, peace that passes all understanding, and a display of love that is not easily angered or self-seeking but is patient and kind.  Amen     

Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash

Citation: Abraham Lincoln Online: Speeches and Writings: Proclamation of Thanksgiving

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