Thanksgiving couldn’t come at a better time this year. So much sadness, oppression, violence, and deprivation seems to be going on in the world right now. We all worry about our planet and the effects global warming is going to have on all living things here on Earth. I am war weary. It seems there is no end to war and violence. People are trying to escape to someplace where they can find peace, safety, and freedom. Just this past week, terrorists took the lives of so many innocent people in Paris, and as terrorists like to do, they threaten more senseless violence around the world. I’m not even certain if they truly have a reason for all their hatred. Who do they hate? Everybody? Why do they hate so many? I just don’t know. I am heartsick thinking about all this.
But I have hope. Hope is a powerful thing. It can make us believe there’s a light out there even in the darkest of times. It can make us believe there is good in everyone, even if it’s so far down deep inside them we can’t see it right now. I can imagine those Pilgrims so long ago escaping an oppressive land to find freedom just as the Syrians are doing today. Having hope is like having faith. In troubling times, faith can lift us up and give us the strength to persevere no matter how awful or dark our circumstances.
I’m thankful I was born and raised during happier times. Those were the Norman Rockwell kind of days. Some kids today have known nothing but war so far in their young lives. My great niece has never known a time without war, global warming, and civil unrest and violence.
Next week when I’m surrounded by loved ones preparing to eat a feast in remembrance of those stalwart Pilgrims, I’m going to keep hope in my heart and gratitude for living in a country founded on freedom and where, in times of trouble, people come together and help one another. It never fails to inspire me that, when things are at their worst, human beings are at their best.
So, here’s a little Norman Rockwell for you and a prayer that things will get better soon. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. God bless you and keep you from harm.
Sarah J. McNeal is a multi-published author of several genres including time travel, paranormal, western and historical fiction. She is a retired ER and Critical Care nurse who lives in North Carolina with her four-legged children, Lily, the Golden Retriever and Liberty, the cat. Besides her devotion to writing, she also has a great love of music and plays several instruments including violin, bagpipes, guitar and harmonica. Her books and short stories may be found at Prairie Rose Publications and its imprints Painted Pony Books, and Fire Star Press. Some of her fantasy and paranormal books may also be found at Publishing by Rebecca Vickery and Victory Tales Press. She welcomes you to her website and social media:
Note: all pictures of Norman Rockwell art from Pinterest