“Seeing Our Blessings,” Friend, Oct. 2014, 2–3
A boy named Gordon grew up on a farm in Canada. On Thanksgiving morning, his father would take Gordon and his siblings to count their blessings. They went to the cellar with its barrels of apples, bins of beets, and mountains of sacked potatoes as well as peas, corn, string beans, jellies, and strawberries. The children counted everything carefully. Then they went to the barn and counted the hay and bushels of grain. They counted the cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, and geese. Their father wanted them to realize how richly God had blessed them. Finally, they sat down to a feast.
But one year it seemed they had nothing to be grateful for. Storms had beaten their crops down and left their potatoes rotting in the mud. All they had harvested was a patch of turnips that had somehow weathered the storms. The only good thing that happened that year was that electricity came to their town. There would be no more lamps to fill with oil, no more wicks to cut.
On Thanksgiving morning, Gordon’s father brought a jackrabbit for Gordon’s mother to cook. When it was finally on the table with some of the turnips, the children refused to eat. Gordon’s mother cried, and then his father went up to the attic. He got an oil lamp and lit it. Then he told the children to turn off the electric lights. They could hardly believe it had been that dark before. How had they seen anything without the bright lights made possible by electricity?
The food was blessed, and in the humble dimness of the old lamp, Gordon’s family felt grateful. Their home, for all its want, felt rich to them. In addition to all else for which we are grateful, may we ever reflect our gratitude for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.