It was raining steadily as Mrs. Wilko readied herself to leave the store. Outside, standing in the rain, was a bell ringer for the Salvation Army with the red kettle suspended nearby, the purpose- to collect donations for the less fortunate. She placed some money in the bucket and engaged the 30ish something man in a quick conversation.
Mrs. Wilko: Wow, you’re out here in the rain.
Bell Ringer: Oh, it’s nothing ma’am. I’m just getting started. I’ll be here for six weeks.
Mrs. Wilko: Six weeks? That’s quite a sacrifice.
Bell Ringer: Not really. I’m paying back a debt. That’s as much time as I can take off from work. If it wasn’t for the kindness of the Salvation Army, I wouldn’t be alive today so I plan to do this every year. Thank you for the donation.
Mrs. Wilko: (choked up) Happy Thanksgiving.
We have since seen this same gentlemen at his post continuing his bell ringing which doubtless will continue through the end of the year.
Thanksgiving is a holiday. Thanksgiving is also an attitude. Current public school curriculum explains that the Pilgrims left to find new land in 1620, thereby remaining politically correct. Actually, they were Separatists that left for religious freedom. They remained steadfast in their faith despite the dangers, disease and privations they endured. Mind you, 47 out of the original 102 colonists perished that first winter leaving only three families intact. If it had not been for Squanto’s help, it is doubtful they would have survived (Which is an amazing story in itself). Governor Bradford declared a public day of Thanksgiving in appreciation to their God for sustaining them one year after they arrived. Pumpkin pie and football had not yet been invented so there was something more that made them grateful. They trusted God for His providence despite tremendous difficulties.
There’s a lesson in that. I hope all of you have a great Thanksgiving.