In the aftermath of the devastation of Hurricane Ike, this may seem like a tall order for many people. And yet, in the midst of our losses, there have been occasions that have surprisingly caused rejoicing, prayer, and thanksgiving. I recall the day when Gay and I found a Mexican restaurant open on the Seawall. We rejoiced that something "normal" had returned. When we sat down inside, our hearts were gladdened by the sight of the heart and soul of America - people from everywhere who had left their homes and families to come to Galveston to help us recover. And they are still coming. The first responders were here to restore utilities and clean up debris. Now we are seeing volunteers and neighbors from churches and service organizations helping us hang sheetrock, install windows and doors, and hold our shaking hands. All of these people along with the skill and compassion they bring create occasions for rejoicing, prayer, and thanksgiving, even in the midst of loss. They are living, breathing expressions of God's bountiful love!
A Prayer for Thanksgiving Day
Almighty and gracious Father, we give you thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them. Make us, we pray, faithful stewards of your great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
From The Book of Common Prayer, page 246