God, in my youth, before every Thanksgiving, my mother forced me and my siblings to polish her silver. The spoons, knives, forks and serving pieces were dull and needed to be polished for the family table. At the time I resented being separated from watching TV, listening to the radio or playing card games.
As Mom pulled the silverware from the cedar chest and cooked in the kitchen, I sat for what seemed like hours doing this chore. Now, years later, I realize that my mother was teaching me a deeper lesson than just doing a job. Looking back, Mom was teaching me about being thankful for the possessions we had, taking pride in our work, and joy in seeing a dining room table set with clean china, sparkling crystal and shining silver. Living the artful life and creating beauty for others to see. How even the simple mundane things we do over time have the greatest impact in life. Mom taught me that life is a lot like that. Little actions produce big results. Small things matter – more than we know.
As I approach another Thanksgiving, I thank you God for the lessons I learned from polishing Mom’s silver. After her death, in the wake of sorting out Mom’s possessions, and in the aftermath of untrustworthy hired caregivers, I have no idea where her silver is or the cedar chest she stored it in. But, the lessons I learned from polishing her silver are everlasting. The blessings of polishing Mom’s silver will be seated at our family Thanksgiving table next week and at every other holiday dinner to come.
God, for those of us who do not have silver in need of polishing, please help us to do our part in creating beauty and special memories at our holiday tables. There are napkins to fold. Silverware to set in place. Tablecloths to lay. Vases to fill with flowers. Hands to hold. Loved ones to embrace. The giving of thanks to You for the harvest of hope as we break bread together. Amen
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Jack H. Emmott is a Senior Counsel of Gray, Reed & McGraw, LLP, a 120-lawyer full service firm in Houston, Texas, a Board-Certified Family Law and Master Credentialed Collaborative Law Professional Divorce Attorney, Mediator, Author, Entrepreneur and Inspirational Speaker. For more information about Jack or his latest book, Bending Angels: Living Messengers of God’s Love, go to the Bending Angel website.