We are well into autumn, and winter is nudging the thermometer southward. As I picked up the morning paper, the thermometer on the porch read 28. The frost was definitely on the pumpkin, although the flowers in my wife’s garden had not succumbed — yet.
Back inside, the thermostat had kept our home a cozy 72. I plugged in the electric tea kettle — we don’t drink coffee in the morning — and spooned the tea into the pot. While the water was boiling, I poured myself a bowl of raisin bran, then added the hot water for brewing the tea. After it had steeped, we took it into the TV room and watched the morning news while we ate breakfast. Your morning ritual may be fairly similar.
After breakfast, I hit the shower and turned the water onto a comfortable warm. While getting dressed, I reflected on one item we had watched on the news. Our southern border was teeming with refugees from Latin America who were begging for entry into America.
At first I asked, “Why can’t our government just refuse access and send them back home?” And then I realized that the comforts I took for granted this particular morning are the blessings that these people never experienced. Their homes were uninsulated, drafty and probably devoid of electricity. If they had running water, it was likely unclean, not fit for eating or drinking. If they had access to food, they weren’t able to afford it, at least as easily as I could.
Compared to much of the world, you and I live in heaven. The people of Haiti, long one of the world’s poorest nations, are struggling to rebound from a powerful earthquake that has flattened their already humble homes and polluted their water. Less than 100 miles away, we Americans are living in luxury.
No wonder they are lining up on the southern shore of the Rio Grande pleading to be let in. You have seen the videos on the TV news, and noticed that nobody is lined up trying to get out.
We are now on the threshold of Thanksgiving. Most of us will gather around heavily laden tables filled with lovingly prepared food and drink, and hopefully will take time to offer thanks.
But as we do so, let’s think about those refugees on the outside. If we are blessed, it is not because God loves us more than he loves them. God’s love to us calls us to be generous and compassionate to those outside our boundaries. Seek those agencies that are reaching out to those in desperate need, and send a check.
Find someone near you whose table will be light this Thanksgiving, and invite them to join you, or take them ingredients for their own Thanksgiving meal. And definitely don’t complain about those beggars at our gates.
Have a blessed, generous, and joyous Thanksgiving.
Harry Bronkar is a retired Baptist minister living in Seven Lakes. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.