By Ellie Behman
When Thanksgiving rolls around I am filled with a warm vision of family and friends gathered around the dinner table enjoying themselves, awaiting the grand arrival of Mr. Tom Turkey. Everyone is smiling and the children are on their best behavior as usual. (Right). It always looks like they don’t have a problem in the world. The red, golden and rust colored leaves are falling softly on the ground. Beautiful thoughts, but we need to admit things are not always what they seem.
We are ordinary humans with ordinary and sometimes serious problems. As I talk to people, I realize that it’s easy to smile when life is going well. Now that’s a Norman Rockwell picture. What about the couples in dire need of a friend to listen to them and let them vent instead of judge them? What do they have to smile about? Some suffer from marriage problems, others with health issues, and many have financial woes.
I have had conversations with several people who opened up and shared some of their heartaches and when I heard their stories and saw the pain in their eyes I began to question their demeanor and found that God had given them the strength as He does for all of us. No matter what situation you may be in, He doesn’t cause the problem. He holds your hand and walks you through it.
I kind of envied some and never knew the pain they were going through. It woke me up in an instant. Some folks are private and that is entirely their business, but others have the burning need to tell someone who is willing to listen. I learned quickly never to pre-judge.
Thanksgiving day, for me, is the perfect way to enjoy a loving family but the Lord also gives us the opportunity to give thanks for our family all through the year, thanks for the freedom to make time to comfort someone who is hurting inside and thanks for the freedom to pray and worship anywhere we choose
Have I succeeded in living this message? Not at all. I guess I’m a work in progress – which gives me hope. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.
Ellie has been a freelance writer for more than 40 years and has written over 400 articles. She and her husband spend as much time as possible at their cabin where they enjoy the beauty of the surrounding area. This is where the majority of her writing is done as it is the perfect quiet setting for a writer.