As the waves of the Atlantic rolled in upon Ocean Beach, MD, I served Thanksgiving Dinner to that in need. Orcas Island, WA, or St. Louis, for that matter seemed liked a million miles away. Here, in the lonely area we served meals, the rich and poor found equal footing – each family, each individual life was washed away Sandy’s relentless waves.
Sipping coffee under the hue of candles as they struggled against the light breeze, I saw something phenomenal. Friends and families gathered, hugged their children, clung to each other’s heat and enjoyed the simply moment of just being together. For better or for worse, they shared thanks, they laughed, cried, played football in the setting sun.
In truth, they were all tremendously richer than I. Whether they understood or not, the clung to the love of their life and refused to surrender. Almost as if they spit into the wind of adversity and carried each other, embraced life and found renewal in one another. At that very moment, I understood Christ’s words:
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”
The foundation was never a rock. The rock was love. He hath love that which is given and received in Christ has found the ‘rock’ of life. This ‘rock’ will carry one another into every bit of living and every bit of grace. Why did it take me so long to understand this? Why did I not see this before? Why have I been so arrogant?
Someone once said, “…the real measure of your wealth is how much you’d be worth if you lost all your money.” Whatever friendships were built, I seemed to destroy, and they stagnated or died. It’s amazing to learn how much of my individuality was wrapped in my professional life. But here, this weekend, I learned that when all the distractions are gone, I can be a terrific person.
So for this Thanksgiving, so far from home, I give thanks. As it is written in 1Thessalonians 5:18; “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
I give thanks to Christ, for keeping you near. You are with me always.