Around our family Thanksgiving table—and TA-Da! here is that table and the decorator—the BEST THAT LOVE CAN BUY! Place cards (both sides) in bubble letters and newly learned cursive; pipe-cleaner twisty garlands and hearts of gold and brown; gorgeous fall leaves from our morning walk; sparkly ribbons and lots of poster paper and pretty markers!
Around our family table, we have a Thanksgiving tradition that I think a lot of y’all share one way or another. Our version is that we secretly write down three things we are thankful for and everybody has to guess who wrote what. This year our seven-year-old grandson gave thanks for Antarctica—he just LIKES it! One of mine was “beer”— I have no idea where that came from. I like beer but it’s not really one of my top three things on earth. Another thanksgiving for me was “choirs”—I do know where that came from! Thanks to Ray Chenault and Karol Kimmell (and also our little decorator’s choir-mistress, Julie, over at Epiphany) holy music swirls around in my head all week long—what a gift!
Sometimes the voices in our heads are just very little known folks to anybody else in our lives. Maurice Reddick’s voice in his head for instance! Here’s Maurice and his mentor and first boss, Ellsworth Staunton, III. Mr. Staunton was the Clerk of the Session at an old red brick Presbyterian church in Brooklyn where Maurice began his journey. Maurice says that over and over, Mr. Staunton would say “You can do this! You are doing a good job!” And he showed up when Maurice graduated.
Terry Kinton’s favorite voice in her head is her husband Richard!
Terry: ” Even though he is wheel-chair bound, he dreams about walking with Jesus in a garden. He loves the song, he walks with me and he talks with me. My husband always has positive view—”let’s look at it this way.” “Maybe God is trying to show us ….” He loves to see other people’s needs get filled though he has many, many health challenges of his including constant pain.”
Sometimes the voices in our heads are people from early days—school or early training with us. Remember this guy?
You can invite the best voices in your life to walk through the days with you. And GUESS WHAT?? YOU, I promise, YOU are a better angel voice for somebody else. Lisa told me about a life-giving conversation she and I had probably twenty-five years ago. She told me that my words had made a difference in her life. And that she was thankful for me. Isn’t that WONDROUS?? Believe me, there are people on this earth who have been given life through YOUR WORDS!
What about practicing thanksgiving every day—not just on the fourth Thursday of November? And I can’t think of a better place to start than giving thanks for the life-giving voices in our heads. Here’s a paraphrase of a poem from George Herbert (whose voice I treasure). Get it in your head and say it when you need some thanksgiving!
Lord, thou has give so much to me,
Give one thing more, a grateful heart,
Not thankful when it pleaseth me
As if thy blessings had spare days,
But such a heart whose pulse shall be thy praise.