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Special Masonic News & Views - Giving thanks
November 29, 2013
and Happy Thanksgiving!
If you're joining us from outside the U.S. and are not familiar with our Thanksgiving tradition it is our national day of thanksgiving and prayer in appreciation of the many blessings that God has bestowed upon us. For many, it is also a time when family and loved ones come together to spend this day of giving thanks with those they are most thankful for.
For sundry reasons the Lady BG and I are unable to be with our family and loved ones this holiday season, but we have each other and are thankful for that. We have much to be thankful for, but at the moment I am most thankful for the opportunities God gives us to realize and recognize His blessings. I had the good fortune to be presented with such an opportunity recently.
As Thanksgiving approached the Lady BG and I planned to spend a quiet and peaceful day together, and to end the day at the beach watching the sun settle slowly into the Pacific. It would have been a lovely day, a day to be thankful for. But, when we saw a little blurb in the local newspaper a couple of days ago we both knew our plan was changed.
There's a little town a few miles from our home. It has one traffic light, one grocery store and it is, according to the town slogan, "Where the forest meets the sea." Each year this little berg serves a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, at no charge, to everyone who comes through the door. They start serving at Noon and they don't stop until the people stop coming. The little blurb in the newspaper simply said that they still needed volunteers to help with the meal.
So, we didn't spend our quiet and peaceful day together. Instead, the Lady BG volunteered to spend most of the day alone, because she wasn't up to the work, while I helped out in town with the meal. People started to trickle in around 11:30 this morning and we served them cafeteria style as they came in. By Noon they were lined up out the door and the line grew no shorter for the next several hours. I saw families with small children, men and women completely alone, senior citizens with no family around them. I saw tears in peoples eyes as their plates grew heavy with food, and I saw hugs of gratitude as people prepared to leave and make room for those still coming in. Not everyone who came needed a free hot meal. Many made generous donations before lining up with the rest for their Thanksgiving dinner. I heard not a cross word among the workers or from those managing the workers. It was a beautiful community effort and I felt privileged to be a part of it.
I was appointed to the serving line and with each scoop of bread stuffing and each spoonful of candied yams I placed on hundreds of plates I was reminded of my many blessings. I thought of the blessings of my brothers, friends, family, loved ones, my health, freedoms, responsibilities, duties, even my chores, and I could quite literally go on and on. I was, in the end, reminded of the simple and profound lesson that being of service to our fellow man brings great blessings.
And so, as our traditional day of Thanksgiving draws to a close I wanted to take this opportunity to express my thanks for you, and my gratitude to you for being a blessing in my life. May God likewise bless you.
p.s. The Lady BG and I did make it to the beach, and the sunset was quiet and peaceful.
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