Thanksgiving can be a tricky holiday. Not only because of our need to navigate among family with whom we might disagree, nor because the Day signals all our problems with excess – too much food, and too many Black Friday ads. Thanksgiving also can be tricky because we may not be able to conjure up what we think is the required spirit of gratitude. While a part of us genuinely wants to be thankful for our blessings, if our beloveds are still struggling in Puerto Rico, or we have just received an awful diagnosis, or we are grieving over the empty seat at the table, then trying to be thankful seems like play-acting. It’s as if we think God commands or demands gratitude, and pouts if we can’t gush it out.
That’s not true. God understands, and is next to us in every moment, whether we feel light-filled or enshrouded in fog.
The Rev. Tony Robinson wrote this, in a weekly devotion: Sometimes the best we can do is say, “Hallelujah, anyhow.” Sometimes our thanks is more a protest against the pain of the world than an easy “Hooray.” Sometimes we give thanks defiantly, despite what we see around us, because we have faith. We trust that hope will rise within us again. We trust that the kingdom of love will someday arrive, here on earth. God knows it’s not here yet. We know it’s not. But “Hallelujah, anyway.” (For more from Robinson, click here).