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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Time To Think, Write, and Give Thanks

You haven’t found a blog by me in quite a spell. Why? It’s the usual reason, I haven’t had time to think of one. No, that’s not the answer. I’ve thought of dozens but it takes long hours to write one and my life of late has been caught up in short vacations and family visits. All good, but a writer needs to be alone to think so thoughts can spill out on a page. Some writers are able to jot down the skeletons of their ideas, put them on file and get to them later. With me it’s like fishing, I need to give the line a sharp tug when an idea nibbles or it gets away. 

Now I have a day alone to prepare creamed pearl onions and fruit salad for my contribution to tomorrow’s Thanksgiving dinner at Robin’s place nearby where the family will gather. It’s a tender sweet time of the year to express our gratitude but a time when we cannot ignore the empty chairs, forget the ones who have gone or couldn’t make it. 

On my family picture wall among the happy familiar faces I find a small oval frame that holds a picture symbolizing family and all that is good about this sojourn through “the valley of the shadow of death.” A small flock of sheep clustered around the feet of Jesus. The Shepherd is carrying a tiny lamb whose mother is by his side looking up. She is in the shade of the Shepherd indicating her trust.

Amidst the other sheep, but trailing close behind, I see only half of one black sheep. He is done with his straying and humbly willing to follow now in the right path and he, or she, is the closest one to the Shepherd. Way in the back one sheep is straining its neck to look ahead, making sure the Shepherd is there and still leading.

The others? I could, I suppose, identify each one as some member of my family, or even see each one as myself at different times of my life.  The face of Jesus is a picture of gentle divine Love, a symbol of his love and sacrifice in leading us home to the recognition of Heaven within and ever present. 

The family picture wall seemed the proper place for that little treasure. I found it at a flee market in Medford Oregon about thirty-six years ago and count it as one of my most precious possessions. Seems odd that it cost me only twenty-five cents!