Today, while we watch our moms peel potatoes and stuff turkeys, our friends in Israel are waking up with the timid hope that a cease-fire means no more of their neighbors will die. Fresh off of the worst fighting in four years, some Israelis are relieved, but others, mostly in Southern Israel, still feel unsafe after 13 years under the constant threat of rocket fire. They are concerned that the operation was aborted too quickly for them to truly feel safe. My brother-in-law was watching the news yesterday and saw a reporter in Gaza City announcing the cease-fire, right as a loud blast went off behind him. Such fears are not easily abated.
Surely you remember the feeling of fear that filled our nation when we heard about the shooting in Aurora earlier this year? My sister was watching a midnight showing of Batman that night, and I couldn’t help but imagine her theatre being attacked as well. I’m sure many Americans hesitated at the thought of entering a movie theater again. I know I did.
Now, imagine that feeling on a larger, deadlier scale. What if you woke up to the sound of explosions in your neighborhood every day? What if people you had seen at school the day before were buried under a building or too scorched to identify? What if you weren’t surprised? I used to get annoyed when, after hearing me complain about something, my dad would say, “There are always people who have it worse. People in Africa are starving. Christians are being killed in China. Etc. Etc.” But, now that I’m older, I see what he was doing. He was trying to get me to look up from my narrow little tunnel of cheerleader tiffs and dating woes to get a little perspective. There are real tragedies in the world.
As a conservative, I know a lot of people who are still sulking from the results of November 6th, but if we broaden our scope and look around at the powerful problems that other countries are dealing with today, its easy to see that we have much to be thankful for.
A couple in the Middle East just watched their neighbors’ house blow up last night while in America, we sat safely in theatres watching explosions that were only make-believe.
We are blessed.
No matter how you look at the current direction our government in headed, here are a few things to be thankful for – we have the freedom to worship God, the opportunity to prosper, and the simple feeling of safety when we step outside to go for a walk.
Today, lets take a break from political Facebook fights with our lefter-leaning friends. As a nation, we have struggles ahead and we will continue to disagree, but there is no denying the thrilling truth that we still live in the greatest, freest country in the world. Happy Thanksgiving.