It’s Canadian Thanksgiving Day today, and I’m giving thanks for many things:
Freedom to walk the streets without having to change my route or watch my back.
A sunny, crisp autumn day—and needed rain in the past week and in the forecast again.
Turkey dinner with a friend also in the forecast.
Trees with each branch, each leaf, painted a slightly different color.
A family that loves me—and that I love.
The hand-made quilt on my bed, brightening my room with its cheery colors—and the big, winding hearts stitched into it which show up best when I turn it over.
There are so many things I’m grateful for. But as I pause and turn over my life, I see one gift looping in large hearts across it, holding together the seen and unseen layers of my life. This, today, is what I’m most grateful for: God’s tender, personal love that sees and cares for each of us as unique individuals.
Ours is a God who calls out the stars not a galaxy at a time but one by one. (Is 40:26)
Who sees each chickadee flitting from branch to branch and knows when even one of a whole flock of sparrows reaches the end of its strength. (Matt 10:29-30; Luke 12:7)
He’s a tender Shepherd who leaves the ninety-nine to look for the one—and then circles back to tend each of the ninety-nine in turn, calling each by name, carrying the young and the weak and the wounded. (Matt 18:12-13; Isaiah 40:11; John 10:3-4)
He’s a Physician who sees each wound, tending it with skill and compassion. One who cares. (Mark 2:17; Isaiah 53:4-5)
He’s a Father who honors the weak and hidden right along with the strong, leveling us all out so we know we’re not loved just for what we do. And elevating us all to share in Christ’s place as beloved son and heir, delighted in and trusted with genuine choice and important work. (Rom 14; 1 Cor 12; Rom 8:17; Eph 2:10)
And God is a Mother who carries us within God’s self and labors to birth us into life and freedom. One who can’t forget her child, and knows every detail of our souls and bodies, right down to the number of our hairs and each hidden tear never seen by another. (Acts 17:28; Is 42:14-16 and 49:15; Luke 12:7; Ps 56:8)
I’m so grateful that though God has a grand plan, so much bigger than any one of us, none of us gets lost in the process.
So, friend, wherever you are on this day, whatever the joys and griefs you carry within you, know you are seen. And loved. By the One who shaped you and called you into being, who delights in you. And who longs for you to know it.