This week, millions of us will pack carry-ons and stuff duffle bags, load up car trunks and wearily wait in long airport lines, put fresh sheets on sofa beds and compose miles-long grocery lists, all in preparation for Thanksgiving Day — a time for us to gather together with friends and family members, show our thankfulness, and stuff our faces with food.
So much togetherness can quickly go awry even in the best of times, but this year, many of us are feeling a little more tense than usual. That’s why we come to you now, O Lord, with this fervent prayer: Please give Uncle Leroy the good sense to leave his Trump hat at home.
And please, God, remind him as he pops open his third Michelob Lite that Cousin Myrtice always wears that blue pantsuit to Thanksgiving dinner. She’s not making a political statement, she’s simply rocking her polyester answer to dressy-casual in the same way she has every Thanksgiving since 1982.
Lord, you know we’re all so proud of Ray-Anne’s son, Todd. He worked hard to earn that full scholarship to U.C. Berkeley. But oh God, we beseech you to help him save his thoughts on the election for a time when the cranberry sauce in great grandmother Harriet’s cut-glass bowl can’t be mistaken for a handy projectile. Grant him the wisdom of discernment, Lord, to know that carving knives can kill, and Cousin Larry just got out of prison.
If it isn’t too much to ask, Lord, we humbly request that you shower Grandpa Bob with peace and serenity on Thanksgiving Day — so much peace and serenity that he falls asleep in the Barcalounger and remains there for the duration of the afternoon. We certainly appreciate all Grandpa Bob has contributed to our family, but he can take his contributions about women in politics and stick them where the… er… Sorry, God. Where were we?
Oh yes. Lord, please have mercy on Mom as she decides who sits where during our holiday feast. Aid her in separating the wheat from the chaff, the schoolteachers from the gun enthusiasts, the atheists from the evangelists, the police officers from the protestors, the vegans from the deer hunters, Bobby Lee from his ex-wife’s sister, and that one cousin who keeps talking about the ‘end times’ from everybody else. In fact, Lord, if you see fit to afflict that cousin with some sort of minor plague that prevents him from coming, we will totally understand.
We thank you, Lord, for bringing us together as a family during these troubled times. Help us to find common ground in our conversations with one another and to strengthen the bonds that unite us. Remind us of the many good times we’ve had together and encourage us that despite our differences, this Thanksgiving need not end in a shouting match. Or a fistfight. Or a night in jail. (Norville isn’t coming this year, so that will help matters.)
We are grateful for one another, Lord, and we are grateful for this time together. We think. We might need a miracle this year–
But that’s your specialty, right?
Header image via Mark Surman/Flickr Creative Commons