How driving through the Western Heights projects in Knoxville, TN yesterday has challenged my celebration of Thanksgiving today.
2 Corinthians 4:17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
Evelyn and I went to Waffle House for breakfast this morning. It’s about the only place that’s open on Thanksgiving. As usual, the cooks and waitresses were bright and cheerful and we were served without any delay. It was a good way to start the holiday. I sometimes wonder what it’s like for someone who has to serve others on a family holiday. There have been holidays in the past when I have been called out on an emergency, so I guess I know part of it. But what’s it like to have to work on holidays, in order to make payments on the rent or put food on the table?
Yesterday, I delivered a Thanksgiving basket to a family that our wee church supports. Instead of coming back the usual route via the interstate, I traveled through the Western Heights area. It was another world. It felt like a shadow of hopelessness, poverty, and fear had covered the whole area. I wanted to do something more to help, but I didn’t know what to do. I grew up in a deprived area of Glasgow, Scotland, so I know something of the poverty and despair, but this felt different. People looked as though they were trapped by some kind of evil force that just wouldn’t let them escape or go somewhere better.
This has made me more aware of the blessings that my family and I share, but it also challenges me to somehow bring the Gospel into these broken lives. I don’t know what I can possibly do, but there are a few churches in the area that probably need support and help. I need to think and pray about this. I need to ask Christ what does He want done?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we are truly thankful for who we are and what we have. Help us not take life’s blessings for granted. Challenge us to change our ways so that we may help others escape the fear, poverty, and despair that they experience each day, and especially on this day of Thanksgiving. In Your Holy Name, we humbly pray. Amen.