words by jenny
This past Thursday, our house filled up with friends and our table filled up with food. All of the Covenant missionaries here in Ecuador were able to come to our house to celebrate Thanksgiving and enjoy time together. It is the first time in recent history that everyone has been able to come together to celebrate the holiday and the first time that we have all been together since we arrived in June. We started our meal with communion, ate a ridiculous amount of delicious food and talked about traditions that we all had growing up gathering with family for this meal.
We really are so blessed and honored to work alongside such a stellar group of people. When we can’t be with family over the holidays, knowing that we can share life with these people really helps.
We ate and laughed. We watched kids run around the yard after the dogs and held babies. We washed dishes and watched A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. We did puzzles and caught up on life.
And all the while, the irony and the nagging knowledge of what is happening in our home country at Standing Rock was present in my thoughts and mind. That yet again, our indigenous brothers and sisters are giving of themselves to preserve life for all.
I just started reading Krista Tippett’s book, Becoming Wise, An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living. And on Friday morning, I read an excerpt from an interview that Tippett had with Marie Howe. The words jumped off the page at me, and I have found myself coming back to them time and time again over the past few days:
“Well, language is almost all we have left of action in the modern world. For many of us, at least, action has become what we say: the moral life is lived out in what we say more often than what we do.”
I believe words are important. I believe language is important. I believe that I need to have intentional conversations with my children. I believe that I need to continue to find my voice and speak up when I encounter injustice and racism and sexism and xenophobia and homophobia – I need to name it when I see it in myself and when I hear it coming from others. But may we continue to grow into becoming people of action. May God help us everyday to live out our moral life through what we do, not just what we say.
In Spanish, the word Thanksgiving is translated día de acción de gracia – and that word acción means action! A day of thanks action. So may all that we find ourselves grateful for in this season move us to action. Lord, may it be so.