Thursday, November 25, 2010
A Thanksgiving Challenge
This morning, I’m waking up to another snowy day in Seattle. It’s beautiful outside, but the white flakes don’t obscure my literal view of a homeless man sleeping in the doorway across from my building.
In the midst of our thankfulness, people are hurting. And the hurt is palpable on a day like today.
The snow continues to drift down, reminding me that while it’s important to be thankful for the goodness in our lives, counting our blessings is also a call to action. A call to reach out to those in need in physical and emotional ways. We shouldn’t be blind to the world around us. To that man sleeping in the snowy doorway. But I don't know what I should do for him.
Later in the morning, I look out the window, toward where I had first noticed the sleeping man. Someone kinder and braver than me has left a fast-food bag near him. I hope it has something hot inside, something to get him started on this hard, hard day in the snow.
This simple gesture gets me thinking again about all the things I could have and should have done to help. But in a bigger sense, I’m thinking about what, besides my stories, I can give to the world to ease suffering. It’s a challenge all of us should consider.
It’s almost time to leave to see my family now and my apartment smells like my grandparents’ house, the corn pudding casserole getting all golden in the oven, overtaking the last remnants of morning coffee's perfume.
I’m ready to bundle up and venture into the snowy streets, counting my blessings with each step. I have much to be thankful for and a new challenge on my heart.
Giveaway: In comments, please list a way you could help homeless or hurting people in your community this winter. One lucky commenter will win signed copies of *both* The Clearing and Never Cry Werewolf. Good luck! Winners announced on Sunday.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone...
The Clearing - PNBA short-list 2011 - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Never Cry Werewolf - Harperteen 2009
Wherever You Go - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Fall 2011