Last weekend my husband and I took our kids into NYC to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. It was a wonderful show, and we had a wonderful time taking in New York City and all its holiday splendor.
But the most impactful moment of the trip happened in the subway. As we walked through a tunnel with our three young children, we saw a homeless man sleeping on the side of the corridor. My middle son was very concerned. Was he dead? No, we assured him. Just sleeping in a warm place. But why is he sleeping there? my son persisted.
And so we opened the conversation of homelessness with our three children. There are many people like that man in the subway. They don’t have homes. They don’t have the advantages our children do. And we explained to our kids that this is why we give. Why we contribute to our church programs that benefit the church’s many ministries for the poor. Why we donate money to worthy causes. Why we offer our opportunity to those who need a chance.
You see, we said, to those who have been given much, much is expected. We have a responsibility to care for our fellow man.
Gratitude is a verb.
If we’re truly grateful for all we’ve been given, then we need to use what we’ve been given responsibly. As Americans gather around the Thanksgiving table this holiday, remember that what you have has been entrusted to you. Use it wisely. Make a difference.
That’s what true gratitude is all about, in my book.
photo credit: James Fischer