Thursday, November 26, 2015

On Giving Thanks

[There's a tradition of a poem appearing on Life in the Shoe on Thanksgiving.  This year, for the first time, it's free verse. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, all of you reader-blessings.]

"Give Thanks"

Sometimes the summer heat
Begins in June and then
For weeks and months forgets
As fuchsias die
And wells run dry
And grass turns brown
and all of us grow weary
and cows keep looking at the ground
for green that isn’t there—
that summer wasn’t meant to be like this.
A breeze at times
A summer shower
Is that too much to ask?

“Give thanks” the Father says
And so we do, or try,
And think “How long
This season lasts.
Do you not see?
The thirsty cow
And me?”
So “thanks” I say
And find again
The seed of hope
The surety
That change will come
This will not last forever.

“Give thanks,” He says
In those relentless times
Of silent suffering
And too much noise
And more than we can do
Or take
Or comprehend.
And people scraping hard
On that old wound
And all my faults exposed
like dangling dusty spiderwebs.
Those times of loss
Of how I wanted things to be.
The depths of helplessness.
The wounds,
The wondering
If this season ever ends and
If there is any chance He sees.
“Give thanks.”
And so I do
For life and grace
For change to come someday.

My helplessness to change
The heat the drought
The loss the pain
Also means I’m powerless
To change the flow of time
And so it moves
Unseen by me.
Until the clouds decide
To congregate one day,
Block out the sun
And bless the waiting earth
With rain.
Sheep and cats and cows
All drink
And grass turns green
With life.
The time has come.

So time moves on
For me as well
One day I wait in hope
Unseeing still
And then the clouds move in
And change arrives.
The splinter pulled at last,
The finger bandaged clean
The pressure lifts
Forgiveness comes,
A healing word,
A hope fulfilled
A change,
A tree of life
Solution, restoration.
And seeing, I give thanks.

He sees.
He waits for unseen purposes
And wise and full of love
He keeps my heart
And when its soil
Is ready for new growth
He sends
The rain.
No season lasts forever, so,
He watches in the waiting
Calls us to trust,
Stand on the iron ground,
Turn to the sky of bronze,
And give our thanks.


  1. Beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Exactly my sentiments today even though I don't live in the States where you are celebrating Thanksgiving today. However every day needs to have Thanksgiving in it.

    Mary H

  3. I love your list. Thank you. "Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! (Psalm 107:8)

  4. Thank you for this! It spoke to my heart especially the third stanza. I seem to focus on the times of loss of how I wanted things to be. You have helped me to remember to give thanks for life and grace and for change to come someday. Blessings to you and your family!

  5. The Baritone11/27/2015 1:17 PM

    "Oh give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy endures forever." -Psalm 136:1

  6. Internal rhyme and concrete imagery. Nicely done!

  7. These words squeeze my soul. Thank you

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  9. Dorcas, that was beautiful, and a much needed word. Just wanted to say "thanks."