Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving: Farmers, Slaves and Stories

Birches in Fall

I'm thinking about Thanksgiving with...

Pennies and a Big Blue Sky over at High Calling Blogs

and Marching Farmers, Homeless Slaves over at Christianity Today.

Also, it's not too late for you to join the festivities and add your post to the Thanksgiving Celebration. On that note, I wanted to share this little clip I found in my outdoor journal, while I was working on God in the Yard this past weekend:

Why should anyone care about another person's story? If it is told well, and honestly, one might find oneself there, perhaps even find God. And that is a blessing indeed, if it brings a measure of truth and healing or inspiration and challenge.

To this, I've been reading our Thanksgiving Celebration stories, where I've found myself, found God, been moved, blessed. I've also tried to make space for others in my heart and mind, which seems to me a form of hospitality— listening to stories where I don't find myself but I find Other and God-near-Other...

Stories of sudden loss and shocking loss. Reflections on thanks unsent, then sent. Moments of surprising birth, dealing with displacement and finding joy despite financial loss. And, last but not least, an aside on potential turkey extraction.

I wonder if all hospitality actually begins with listening to the other's story, taking others seriously, as the Message translation says somewhere in Psalms...

In any case, today I'm grateful for you and your stories. Happy Thanksgiving, friends.

Fall Trees painting by Saima Barkat. Used with permission.

LL's Thanksgiving: Out-Take, an unpublished section of the CT article
LL's Grace Table, a reflection from the little woods

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Blogger sojourner said...

i like your idea that listening to stories is hospitality - hope you find blessings in your thanksgiving - i'm gonna come back to read the trail of stories you've left :0)

6:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Popped over to read your CT article--lots of historical depth and a reminder of the Jewish celebrations. I actually think of that every year, how Americans don't really know how to "feast" very well. In fact, this (Thanksgiving) is our (Americans') only real "feast," and there are no set suggestions on how to celebrate it. Even the food is specific to that family's traditions (my Grandma's pea salad being one example).

Very nice article.

I'll bet you've got some interesting ideas for Advent, too. Anything in the works?

12:39 AM  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

Amen, L.L. Thanks so much for taking the time to do all of this. Very meaningful, and helped me work through a post which was good for me, that I probably would not have otherwise done.

I'll have to read your CT article, too. Good to see the opportunities for you, and I need to get back into the Message again.

A blessed and wonderful Thanks-giving to you and yours and to all here.

12:57 AM  
Blogger Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

I like the equation of listening to stories and hospitality.

I wanted to participate in this celebration, but I'm swamped with extra work right now. I'll try to read the CT article after the holiday though.

Happy Thanksgiving.

8:41 AM  
Blogger Every Square Inch said...

Happy Thanksgiving!

11:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Thanksgiving!

6:28 PM  
Blogger Jenn Jilks said...

Happy Thanksgiving. My husband worships at the temple of the NFL that day. It keeps him off the streets!

1:27 PM  
Blogger GratefulinGA said...

Um...hospitality, manners, putting others ahead of ourselves...listening with empathy, without planning my response-my take on it...maybe learning and loving without a field trip.

again thank you L.L.

10:00 AM  
Blogger elaine @ peace for the journey said...

For me, it's all about the story and the people who live it. Listening is the hospitable gift we give to one another. It's the one gift that gives back accordingly.

Just ordered your book and one for my mother-in-law. Can't wait to dig in this Advent.


11:37 AM  
Blogger RissaRoo said...

Your CT article is wonderful! You bless us with your words and generosity. I am thinking about the feast days a lot lately, we do Passover every year but looking at the fulfillment through Jesus of all these ancient traditions is such a blessing!

4:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LL - I keep meaning to tell you that I had a dream that I had Thanksgiving dinner at your house (which I've never seen in real life!). Only you weren't actually home when it started -- you and your family (they were all there in the dream, though I've never actually met them or seen a picture of them!) came a little later and feasted with us. I was so glad to have this little connection with you over the holidays! Blessings!

8:37 PM  
Blogger Jennifer @ said...

I like that -- listening as a form of hospitality. Giving someone our time is one of the greatest gifts. It has been pure joy to spend time here at Seedlings in Stone, and at Love Notes to Yahweh. I've been blessed by your words.

8:47 AM  
Blogger Billy Coffey said...

Lovely words as always, and of course true words at that. We all have our stories to tell, and part of the telling is the listening.

9:17 AM  
Blogger Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Good morning. I thought you would like to know that I talked about Stone Crossings on my blog today.

8:34 AM  
Blogger Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

You asked about the photo on my blog. Alas, there is no story behind it. I picked the mug because the word Grace went with your book's title, and the lace placemat is just one that we've had since we married.

Have a good day.

10:13 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

I know this is an "off-the-wall" take, but your question, "Why should anyone care about another person's story?" made me think of the old Bill Cosby monologue.


Cosby asks "What is it about the drugs that attracts you?"

"Well, it magnifies your personality, man!" is the reply.

To which Cosby asks "Yes, but what if you're an asshole?"

3:08 PM  

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