"I's so grateful that we can all be together like this tonight," Mother Harriet was saying to the group that had assembled in a semi-circle of chairs around her. "Nobody's been real sick or hurt; we've all got a place to stay. How many of ya know the Lord's been good to ya this year?" Everyone except Megan said, "Amen." Mother Harriet clapped her hands again. "Hallelujah! How many of ya believe the Lord will take care of ya next year?" Another chorus of "Amen!" was heard. "Tomorra's Thanksgivin' and we think on all the good things God's done for each of us. Let's go 'round the room now and hear from each of you 'bout the good things God‟s done this past year that you's grateful for. Marla, you start."
"This won't take long," Megan thought as she looked around the room at the ragged, wretched group congregated in the miserable little house. Nothing very good had ever happened to any of them, or they wouldn't be there. To her surprise, everyone found not just one thing for which to be thankful, but several. One woman was thankful that her son had come home and that he was off drugs and had not been in jail for six months. A man was thankful that he had found work and he and his wife were back together. Several were thankful for their jobs, their children and the company of their friends. A newly married couple was thankful for each other and for the baby she was expecting. But the most touching was a young mother whose three children sat at her feet. "I'm just so thankful that we got a place to live this year, and I'm not out on the street with my kids no more."
When Megan‟s turn came, there was a long silence. It was not that she wanted to create a scene; she simply could not think of anything for which she was thankful. The past year had been the worst of her life, and to pretend that she had anything good to remember was a travesty. Finally, seeing that she had to say something, she blurted out, "I'm grateful that I've been able to come back to Buffalo to visit with my mother and dad."
The statements of gratitude continued around the room until, at last, Mother Harriet's turn came. "I'm grateful for this house and for each of these people here in it tonight. I'm grateful to be a part of this community and to know the people here—they's been such a blessing to me. Mostly, I'm grateful for Jesus and the life He gives to all of us. Ain't no better life than the one we got in Him."
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