Happy Thanksgiving

November 25, 2021


Happy Thanksgiving

In The Middle...

We have been through tremendous challenges, and we are not quite to the other side yet.  From a global pandemic to shutdowns, from riots, unrest and inflation to the Caldor Fire locally, life continues to be difficult.  As we look towards gathering once again with our friends and families, I am inspired by the beginnings of this beloved tradition.

The Thanksgiving holiday we celebrate today began with Abraham Lincoln in 1863, and it is helpful to recognize what was happening then.

1863.  In July that year, we experienced the largest and most devastating military conflict in North American history…Gettysburg.  September held the second bloodiest two day conflict at the Battle of Chickamauga.  November ushered in a host of battles including the bombardment of Fort Sumter that lasted several weeks.

In the middle of this utter destruction and cataclysmic loss…in the middle of shattering chaos and tragic conflict…smack dab in the middle of our most desperate hour as a Nation, President Lincoln declared thanks.

Let’s just stop right there He declared thanks. How often do we begin our Thanksgiving season by joyously recanting what is right in our world?  Our hearts swell with gratitude for what is good.  And rightfully so!   In the sunshine of our blessings, we would be remiss not to acknowledge them.  And yet, that’s easy, isn’t it?  It’s easy to give thanks when things are going well.  It’s easy to give thanks when we have a loving family and a beautiful home to gather in.  It’s easy to find gratitude when our blessings outnumber our challenges.  And it's easy to be thankful when our life is progressing and expanding in an orderly fashion.  Would it have been that easy in 1863?

How easy would it have been for President Lincoln to be overwhelmed by the weight of a nation embroiled in hatred and mourning?  How easy would it have been to believe that at that moment, challenges were so great there was nothing to be grateful for?  How easy would it have been to feel that acknowledging blessings in the midst of such devastation was insensitive, almost inappropriate, politically incorrect?  How easy would it have been to envision proclaiming a day of Thanksgiving as a celebration after the war was over?

He did it in the middle.

There’s a lesson there.  Perhaps our challenge is to not look at thanksgiving as an annual occurrence but as a way of life.  When things are going wrong, even really wrong, there are blessings at hand.  When the battle rages and we can’t see our way through, we are held, prepared and led by the Providence of Good.  When we are in the middle of our darkest hour, our best gifts are often being arranged that will both bless us and cause us to be an increased blessing to others.

And so in the middle, we give thanks.

Whatever you are in the middle of, may you and yours be blessed.  Happy Thanksgiving.


County Seal

Supervisor Wendy Thomas  District 3

If you have any questions, call my office: 530.621.5652