Our Saving Grace

Neffsville, Pennsylvania. Saying grace before carving the turkey at Thanksgiving dinner in the home of Earle Landis by Marjory Collins, 1912-1985, photographer

This Thanksgiving was different than those of years past. It had a feeling of rawness to it, likely due to divisions that are stalking every aspect of our culture. Our democratic  society is being systematically dismantled by the wealthy ruling class in each level of governance from the smallest city council all the way up to Capitol Hill. It’s difficult to be grateful whether your on the side that is experiencing the powerlessness of loss or the frustration of resistance. Neither side feels particularly “blessed” in these dark times.

This is not a bad thing. In fact, it’s a good thing to let go of incorrect preconceived notions of the American dream. Yet, we must figure out what remains to be celebrated. The familiar comforts of food, freedom, family, and fellowship are in dwindling supply. The fact that we may not have the same comforts by this time next year is something we have to consider. What will happen if things continue to change for the worse? Some people have built survival compounds to hoard provisions in. Others are trying to fend off a sense of impending doom with alcohol.

For some of us, the dim prospects facing this country have forged a stronger bond of gratitude for what we already have – cherished family members, the few friends who hold similar values to our own, a warm and cozy home, good health, meaningful work. These things that provide a sense of fullness in our lives despite the uncertainty that tomorrow brings. This simultaneously occurring phenomenon has the power to light a spark of revival and resuscitate our country’s frozen heart. If we can do that, perhaps it is still possible to renew the long-forgotten vows between the people and the land. That’s my sincerest hope.





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