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A Glowing End to Thanksgiving Day

Although my thoughts and conversation today have been full of happy and eager thanksgiving, I would feel badly not to speak the same sentiments here on my blog before the day has passed. There is so much for which I am thankful. I want to bring to your attention three persons whose dire situations emphasize the overwhelming blessings which have been heaped on me.

The first is Army Spc. John Austin Johnson, a wounded veteran, who as he lay in an Austin, Texas hospital lost three children to a deadly rollover automobile crash. Mr. Johnson’s wife and children were on their way to visit him in the hospital when she lost control of the car and it rolled four times, killing the children. He was recovering from his fifth wounding by an improvised explosive device during his two years in Iraq. Associated Press has the complete story here.

A short while ago, my daughter, Rebecca, began working for Inland Home Supportive Services, a government funded organization whose goal is to assist disabled or very sick persons to remain in their own homes as long as possible.

“You must meet TM,” (not her real name) Rebecca told me a few days ago. This woman ia 54 years old, is 5’7″ tall and weighs 95 pounds. She was born with cerebral palsy, has no use of her legs, has an issue with gender identity, and has celiac disease. Although she uses a wheelchair for some things, for the most part when she is home, she crawls on her hands and knees to get around. She shows streaks of brilliance, but because of severe problems through her life, in many ways, she acts as a 12 year old child. On her wall are documents that indicate that at one time she took the vows of a nun. Her house is spotlessly clean, Rebecca reports.

“I’ll bring you some food from our Thanksgiving meal,” Rebecca told her, and when Rebecca left here an hour or so ago, she had prepared a plate of food for TM.

The third person I want to mention is Bethani Roam. Bethani is 24, a minister’s wife, the youngest daughter of some of our good friends. A couple of weeks ago, she suddenly became very ill, and within a few days was diagnosed as having complete liver failure. She was airlifted to a hospital in San Francisco and lay near death until a liver donor was located. Miraculously one was found within a day, she had a complete liver transplant, and is now successfully recovering at home. A blog site has been established and there you can follow the daily developments of this event.

Those are only three out of tens of thousands similar stories from around the world. And here I sit tonight in a warm home, grandchildren on pallets, in cribs, and eating snacks at the bar. I’ve played several games of checkers with grandboys, flames are blazing in the fireplace, and our fridge is chocked with leftovers from the sumptious Thanksgiving meal we enjoyed a few hours ago. Hand lettered Happy Thanksgiving signs are stuck on windows and on the mantel, toys are scattered on the floor and paper airplanes litter the place.

Yes, I’m blessed…and thankful.

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My devotional blog is here.