Thanks be to thee O God, my Father, for your many tender mercies to me your stubborn servant.
Thanks to thee for coughing husbands and wakefull daughters and sleepless babies who roust my stubborn, selfish, sleep-loving self out of the comfort of my bed. For you who know me and love me, Lord, know this is the only way you can give me silence in which you may reach me.
Thanks be to thee my God and Father for many tears and storms and wild lashings and for your persistence in the midst of them for it is only in the storm that I can see that you are the rock of my strength you are the calm and not me. It is only there that I can see my weakness and your strength.
Thanks be to thee O God my loving Father, for toddler whines that last for hours Oh mommy Oh mommy Oh mommy and for giving me the only arms in which she can find rest, the only breast on which she can find comfort. I rage and scream and yell and run away I despise your good gifts so ungrateful I am and yet you send them again and again until I finally realize that it is only in embracing them, holding that tiny ache close to my own that I can truly find the rest you want me to find.
Thanks be to thee O God my loving father for sickness and fever and bodily infirmity which throws me to my knees and makes me plead with you, that shows me that my truest treasures are right here, the people I love, the babies who drive me crazy and with whom I am so impatient.
Thanks to you O God for showing me so clearly how persistent is sin, how destructive and how weak and helpless I am to root it out in myself. Thank you for showing me my littlesness so that there is no room for me to be proud of my accomplishments but only little and weak and desperately in need of your healing and your strength.
Thanks to you, O God, for the healing balm of your sacraments which brighten our darkness and fill us with light.
Thanks to you, O God for your gift of persistence in prayer, for your Spirit which drives me always to call upon your Name in my infirmity. Thanks to you, O God, for the beauty of your psalms and liturgy which fill my mouth and give me voice when I have no words for my groanings.
Thanks be to you O God for bleak November weather which keeps us indoors and for short days which seem gloomy, for four walls to keep out the cold and damp, for lights to hold back the darkness, for family to keep out the lonliness.
Thanks be to you O God for children’s voices laughing and crying, whining and singing, rejoicing in your gift of language, speaking prayers and words of love and asking endless questions.
Thanks to you Loving Father for children’s bodies which need so much care and attention: feeding and bathing, and kissing and doctoring. Thanks for diapers that need changing and clothes that need washing and all the opportunities to serve you in tending them.
Thanks to you, O God for hunger of the body and hunger of the Spirit, for emptiness longing to be filled, for need and yearning and dependence.
Thanks to you loving Father for prayers answered in unexpected ways, for unlooked-for reprieve, for small mercies.
Thanks be to God for the sound of rain, for the pale dawn light, for the world sleeping and the world waking from slumber.
Thank you, Father, for nursing babies who fall asleep in my arms, for the smell and soft touch, for the grasping fingers and the heavy breathing, for the tiny bare feet, for sweet lips pressed against me, for earmarks on arms, for chubby cheeks and thighs and bellies and fat hands and roly-poly wrists.
Thank you, Dearest Lord, for early birds cawing in the quiet dawn, for the sound of planes. Keep the travelers safe today Lord and bring them home, unite families and heal divisions and let there be peace served with cranberries and mashed potatoes.
Thank you, Father, for this day of thanksgiving, this secular holiday, which reminds even hardened hearts of gratitude and family, of food and friendship, which unites us all and fills us with your warmth and your love. May it bring us all closer to you and help us all be better citizens of your invisible kingdom.