Tuesday, November 17, 2015

I always think of this time of year as a time of helping. A time of showing love. A time for giving.

As Thanksgiving approaches, I have been reflecting on the things I am thankful for, and even though it is a stressful time for me, I know that I have so much more than so many people in the word. 

My heart goes out to the refugees as they flee from oppression and hate and are met with more hate in the places that they are fleeing to. 

church country old autumn sunlight

I think of two middle east refugees, who more than 2000 years ago fled from oppression and I wonder how their story might have been different if they were not given shelter in a lowly stable. 

There are of course people who want us to turn on each other. Who want us to hate each other. Who want us to cast those who are different aside. Who want us to go about our daily lives in fear. 

fall autumn leaves changing colorful red

We must not be indifferent to their threats, but we cannot allow them to take away who we are. I believe we are a country of compassion. We are a country rich in a tradition of helping those who have been oppressed. 

old church country kentucky

We are so fortunate to worship where or how we choose. Whether it is in a country church, a city mosque, a neighborhood synagogue, or in the quiet of a forest. We are also free to not worship if that is what we choose.

As I look around me and think of the season of giving that is upon us, I will look for ways I can help people. It may be as little as giving up my seat on the shuttle bus yesterday to someone who needed to sit more than I did. It may be adding a healthy food to a food drive barrel. It may be as small as a smile, because we never know when a smile may be just what someone needs. 

There are so many things, both little and large, we can do to help others.

Yes, we are coming up to a season of giving, a time for helping, but shouldn't that season extend throughout the year. A time for helping is now. A time for helping is always. 
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  1. Love this one! I love to give. Mr. Maintenance Man came back, for now anyway, and this morning I gave him one of my two Duraflame stoves I ordered last year that I couldn't get working. He doesn't have heat in that shed, and I imagine he can figure out what I couldn't. Feels so good to give!

    1. Brenda, You have such a wonderful giving heart. We can all learn from your generosity.

  2. Yes- I think giving is a good thing and I think acceptance is a good thing, too. I do think that today, we have to accept with eyes-wide-open as we did not have to do in the past. Today, I witnessed something at the VA where I volunteer that made me realize that our lives can change in an instant. I was never so glad to have police officers and federal officers on hand-knowing that we would be protected. This is no longer an innocent age like the one that we grew up in. Sad......

  3. Yes, this time of year is certainly going to be the time when we both give and receive. For those that need, we should give! It's easy to get caught up in our own lives and troubles and forget there are others out there that could use some help. I hope that you are able to put your troubles behind you and enjoy the upcoming holiday season.

    1. It is easy to get caught up in our own troubles, Kelly but I do find when I focus on helping others it lifts me up and can make my own difficulties seem so much smaller. My family is coming Saturday for a week, so I am very happy about that.

  4. We should want to help others and want to lovingly welcome refugees - and hold our authorities responsible for vetting people who come into this country, so that we are kind, but wise in this dangerous day. It is loving to help. It is foolish to pretend that those who are intent on destroying others will somehow become sweet and kind by coming across our borders. They need to be filtered out by our officials, so that we can show American generosity to those who are truly refugees. But first we have to convince the officials to do their jobs, and convince Congress that the responsibility for immigration is theirs, not the President's.

    1. I don't really want to get into a political argument, but actually Federal law, found at 8 U.S.C. § 1157(a)(1), authorizes any president to admit whatever number of refugees he believes “is justified by humanitarian concerns or is otherwise in the national interest.” The sections and subsection of the United States Code following that provision continue to lay out broad presidential powers, granting him all the authority he needs to bring in Syrian refugees. Yes, the congress can vote to change that law or vote to cut off funding, but I am wondering how humanitarian that is. It takes several years to vet refugees and so far none of the refugees who have been allowed in this country have committed terrorist attacks. I want to focus on helping people who are fleeing for their lives, the children who are innocent victims, and the parents who are trying to protect their families.

  5. Fantastic reminder, thank you for these lovely and peaceful words.

  6. How true, Laura... A wonderful time for giving thanks and giving. Enjoy your week.

    1. It is, Katie. I am going to try and remember this all year.

  7. This beautiful with true feeling and meaning. Love the small white church pictured


  8. We can't live with our heads in the sand, but we have to beware of the fear mongering that is taking place by the "leaders" of our nation. They are pandering to and instilling fear in people over the "what ifs". And you are right. The vetting process is years, not days or weeks for those seeking asylum. To live our life in fear like they are preaching, makes them the winners. We lose. Remember the words at the base of the Statue of Liberty:
    “Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”


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