Thanksgiving dawns. Over 250 pounds of turkey cooked. Pies upon pies upon pies, including several made from a lucky pumpkin that did not meet its dry-ice demise, have been baked. A steady stream of side dishes arrives.
The people were not far behind.
So many people came, in fact, we had to set up more tables and chairs.
In two hours, we would serve over 300 people. All but two turkeys we had in reserve were gone. That's a lot of turkey!
And a lot of work. Still, it was service with a smile.
This young lady was confirmed in church on Sunday and washing dishes in the kitchen on Thursday. That's the kind of commitment we love to see. Her brother was helping with the dishes as well.
We also love it when folks bring their friends and neighbors. Rosemary brought hers, and it was their very first Thanksgiving. Somehow I don't think it will be their last.
And we love it when people don't just offer "help" or "food", but friendship. We think this just may be the most important gift of all.
I talked to a woman who otherwise would've spent Thanksgiving alone. She was from England and had no family in the states. She was so grateful for that her neighbors from St. Matt's had cared enough to invite her. I heard several stories like this, and was touched by every one.
I love the words of the brilliant scientist Joshua Greene when he writes,
"If there’s one thing that we’ve learned from research on happiness, it’s that additional income (above a fairly modest level) adds relatively little to one’s happiness. Some research suggests that additional income above a modest level adds nothing at all... After decades of research, the weak relationship between wealth (above a modest level) and happiness is more like a law of human nature. Past a certain point, wealth simply doesn’t bring happiness."
But you know what? Being part of something larger than ourselves, belonging to a community that transcends our little tribes, and helping others does!