No, I didn't make a mistake in the title of this piece. You read it correctly. Next week many of us Americans will sit down to obscene amounts of food, maybe watch the parades, fall asleep cheering on our favorite football teams. On a national day set aside for giving thanks, which has almost become an afterthought in our daily lives, how much are we really thankful for? How much thought do we have for what we've been blessed with here?

All around me I hear people saying, Oh, I don't believe in God. If there were a God why would he let these people starve? Why does he let those poor babies die in cars like that? My own sister professed to not believe in God because she prayed that our dad, sick with cancer and dealing with severe diabetes, would get better. He died in 1986. Her prayer was for him to stay. His prayer was that he'd had enough. God's answer to my sister's prayer was No.

 As for the children who die left in cars by an unobservant parent, or people who go hungry, God does see them. And he is with them. He has not forgotten them as many suppose. A young man with a heart for people recently wrote a note and it touched me. He reminded me that WE are God's hands and feet. At least we are supposed to be! If our brother is starving for food, it is not because God does not exist or this world is just a bad place to live in! It is because we are too lazy and selfish to realize we have much even though we complain that we have so little! The little ones who are left in cars, or beaten severely till they are brain damaged or dead. Did you walk by the car and see the child sitting alone in the car ? Did you witness the angry mother or father striking the child? What did you do about it? Did you open the car door? Did you call the police or protective services? Did you try to intervene? Not when a child is simply getting a spanking for misbehaving. We all know the difference, whether we agree with corporal punishment or not. I'm talking about slapping repeatedly in the face, yanking a toddler's arm, you know what goes on. Or did you shake your head sadly and jump onto your iphone or blackberry or computer and strike up a conversation on facebook, myspace, or cafemom or twitter? Do we blame God, whether we believe in Him or not, or do we blame "society" or the world? Do we shrug and say, Its not my business?

 I myself am guilty at times of bemoaning how awful the world is. I look at my tiny rental and wish I had a bigger house. I cry when I hear that another child was found strangled, beaten, or left in a car to die. I know there are times when I have food that others do not. I know there are times when I see a child who may be in danger of abuse, and I do nothing. I don't like myself very much when I see that in me.

If we took the time to care--smile at someone; give a listening ear, take a plate of cookies to a friend who is down. Offer to babysit for an hour or two so mom or dad or both can catch their breath for a few minutes. Invite someone over for Thanksgiving dinner or volunteer at a soup kitchen. Instead of throwing away old clothes that still have life in them simply because you don't agree with the religious practices of the charity that will accept them, give them to someone who can use them. Go ahead and give the clothes to the charity. Buy a few extra cans of soup or vegetables and take them to the food bank.

I know I've been long winded here, but I feel we all need to hear this, me included. Especially me. God is here. He is everywhere and he does care. Where is God when disaster strikes? The answer to that question is this: Where are we?  He gave us all freedom of choice. Sorry, neither the government nor the Constitution did. God did. We are his hands and his feet. We are to act. Perhaps we should stop deciding which sins are worse than others and understand that we are to act.

This Thanksgiving, and today and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, I encourage us all to count our blessings. And act. Disaster is everywhere. Where are we?

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Comments:

Eliza...
Nov. 19, 2010 at 11:33 AM

I am new here, and this is the first journal i read in Cafe Mom.. This is a amazing and so true.  God is in us, he cannot come and do the things for us. He created us to help each other.   :)

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ducki...
Nov. 19, 2010 at 11:49 AM

Yes, so true, Elizabeth.

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Veron...
Nov. 19, 2010 at 1:47 PM

A most beautful, throught-provoking post that I pray touches the heart and soul of all that read it...Blessings to you for this post about Thinks giving.....Yes....God is alive and He can be alive in us through our caring and sharing....

Veronica

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Madly...
Nov. 19, 2010 at 8:44 PM

LOVE  this post!!!

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zeppe...
Nov. 19, 2010 at 9:17 PM

This is brutally honest and very thought-provoking. Thank you. I think what you have written here is absolutely beautiful and very desperately needed. I will carry this with me in my heart. Thank you again.

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cornf...
Nov. 20, 2010 at 12:21 PM

thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for what we have and the people we we hold dear.  too often, we tend to focus on what we dont have or wish we had.  thank the lord for the beautiful world he has given us...the big blue sky...the wonderful birds and animals...the ability to do what we have to do...but most of all for our blessings.  try to bring a smile to someones face by doing an act of kindness..something as simple as a smile can bring cheer to someone.

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