Listen at Dinner

I had planned to write a double feature for today: one post for Trump voters, and another for non-Trump voters in order to get some perspective for myself and maybe someone else. The posts are taking longer than I had intended, so look for them sometime next week.

That said… take time to listen at dinner. You may have some people at your table who are more than a little anxious about the topic of politics arriving, which it inevitably will. Be willing to listen. Be willing to empathize with your family, friends, and others, regardless of which side you are on. We’ve had enough division, so let’s let food and gratefulness bring us together.

What is thankfulness? Thankfulness to me this year is being content no matter what my situation. Thankfulness is holding our kids a little closer this week. Thankfulness is seeing the red face of a newborn boy and the pride reflected in his parent’s faces. Thankfulness is watching a gaggle of little girls in princess costumes dancing with their daddies on a cruise ship. Thankfulness is waking up on a cold morning and realizing how amazing it is that my feet touch the floor and feel the tingle of cold hardwood.

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Thankfulness is knowing that no matter what this trip-through-Willy-Wonka’s-horror-tunnel of a year throws at me, I still have my family, and we can laugh, and cry, and share life together. Thankfulness is getting sappy on a blog post that everyone can see.

Listen, share, forgive, seek understanding. Don’t let miscommunication drive you apart. Seek reconciliation, seek common ground. Pursue love. The most profound thing pointed out to me about 1 Corinthians 13, Paul’s poem which describes love, is that Paul ends his poem not with “So be like this” but rather ends the poem in 14.1 simply with, “Pursue love.” We can pursue each of love’s characteristics and wind up missing most of them, but if we pursue love itself, seeking the good of others above our own, “all these things will be given to you as well.”

Photo Credit: Thanksgiving Dinner via Wikimedia Commons

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