Tony Rossi, Director of Communications
November 22, 2020
Living in Thanksgiving
Every November, on the fourth Thursday of the month, we make it a point to remember the
people and things for which we are grateful. But instead of just celebrating Thanksgiving once
a year, what would happen if we were willing to live in thanksgiving the whole year through?
That’s a question we ask in the Christopher News Note “Living in Thanksgiving,” and it certainly
can be a challenge to focus on gratitude when life is tough. But a classic song offers a fresh
perspective on how to do that.
We usually associate the words “Why me, Lord,” with a lament when things are going wrong. But singer-songwriter Kris Kristofferson turned that idea on its head in the early 1970s when he wrote, “Why Me, Lord,” which became the biggest hit of his career up to that point. Instead of complaining to God about hardship, the lyrics offer a song of praise to the Creator: “Why me, Lord? / What have I ever done / To deserve even one of the pleasures I’ve known? / Tell me, Lord. / What did I ever do / That was worth loving You or the kindness You've shown?”
The song grew out of Kristofferson joining a friend for church one Sunday morning (something he rarely did), and hearing the preacher ask, “Does anyone feel lost in their lives?” Though he didn’t want to raise his hand, Kristofferson couldn’t resist the urge. He then responded to an altar call where the preacher asked him if he would accept Jesus as his savior. Kristofferson answered, “I don’t know.” The preacher then prayed over him, leaving Kristofferson weeping on his knees. Not long after, he wrote, “Why Me, Lord.” The lyrics continue, “Tell me, Lord, if You think there's a way / I can try to repay / All I’ve taken from You. / Maybe Lord, I can show someone else /What I’ve been through myself / On my way back to You.”
This song is a reminder that even when life seems dark, we can still be grateful for the love of God. And that, in sharing His love with others, we can emerge from the darkness—and help them emerge from theirs. That’s what happened a couple of years ago to an 11-year-old girl in foster care, who saw a star falling from the sky and did what young kids do at that sight: make a wish. In her case, it was to be adopted, along with her six siblings.
As reported by Yahoo, Terri and Michael Hawthorn of Hot Springs, Arkansas, had been foster parents to several of these children, ranging in age from eight to 15. The brothers and sisters had been bounced around the foster care system for years because their parents were drug addicts.
Terri and Michael grew to love them all, so they decided to adopt the seven siblings. They shared the news with the kids at church on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. The siblings were overjoyed! Terri told WFTV, “This is a blessing, they are a blessing. Every day these kids wake up and they are giggling and they are happy...Lots of prayer and love is what made this possible.”
This Thanksgiving may be different than in the past due to the pandemic. But I pray each of you finds at least one blessing for which to be grateful, and that you reflect God’s love to someone else, giving them a sense of gratitude as well.
For free copies of the Christopher News Note LIVING IN THANKSGIVING, write: The Christophers, 5 Hanover Square, New York, NY 10004; or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org