It’s nearly Thanksgiving here in Canada. However, if you don’t live in Canada (poor thing), these are still good things to do this week so don’t let a little thing like that worry you or put you off.
1. Invite another family to join you for supper. Particularly keep an eye out for anyone who is far from home and family. Don’t feel like you need to turn this into an Entertaining Event Worthy of Pinterest. Nope, keep it low-key, keep it simple, add a few chairs, ask everyone to bring something, and simply open your home up to someone new.
As Shauna Niequist says, “The heart of hospitality is about creating space for someone to feel seen and heard and loved. It’s about declaring your table a safe zone, a place of warmth and nourishment.” That doesn’t require six kinds of stuffing. There’s a deep connection between justice-building and community-building, I believe.
2. Pack a box of food for the local Food Bank. Holidays are always a big pull on our local food banks so this is a good time to stock their shelves – particularly rice, beans, flour, cans of tuna, Thanksgiving side dishes like cranberries or boxed stuffing, baby food, diapers, that sort of thing.
Our church is doing a church-wide food drive on the Sunday morning before Thanksgiving, in fact so try to do a big donation, so if you’re really feeling energetic, perhaps you could pull together your community or Facebook friends or church to all drop off food. There are a lot of opportunities to participate in the work of justice and sometimes that looks like organizing cans of tuna on your day off.
3. Embrace Generous Tuesday. I know that Black Friday shopping is more of an American Thanksgiving phenomenon but the idea is still there around most of our holidays: spend spend spend. So instead of Black Friday or Cyber Monday dominating our Thanksgiving weekends, let’s turn the narrative around to Generous Tuesday.
Generosity inspires generous living, and it can spark a movement of transformation. So take some time as a family or a community to think about how you want to be generous on Tuesday – and don’t feel like it’s just about monetary donations (but hey, let’s not kid ourselves or overlook the obvious – cash helps so send a donation somewhere), you can also donate books, clothes, furniture, your time, your energy, your skill set, whatever. You can raise money or raise awareness. Just be generous on purpose on Tuesday and make it part of your family traditions.
Every once in a while around here, we highlight a simple way for us to engage as beloved warriors on behalf of restoring justice. I hope to feature one way to engage with God in peace-making every week – a simple and from-home way to help write a better story in many locations and contexts around the world.
These are simple things, maybe you’d say they aren’t that big of a deal, really.
But we serve a God who takes the smallest seed of peace and justice that we can plant and then ….watch ….watch…. watch…. the mighty oak that will appear. These seeds are seeds of faith.
As I wrote a while ago about how to have hope that God is transforming the world, sometimes, absolutely, mountains move in a great sweep, picked up and cast out into the sea.
But these days I find that God often asks us to move a mountain one small stone a time. I think that faithfulness is picking up my small stones, instead of screwing my eyes shut and denying the existence of the mountain. My heart behind this series to find small and simple ways that we can all contribute to justice in our world.