LORD, we mourned the smaller number of chairs at our Thanksgiving tables

By Dr. Jacquelyn Simmons

Scripture: O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. O give thanks unto the GOD of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever. O give thanks to the LORD of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever. To him who alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy endureth for ever. To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy endureth for ever. To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy endureth for ever. To him that made the great lights: for his mercy endureth for ever. The sun to rule by day: for his mercy endureth for ever: The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever (Psalms 136:1-9 KJV).

Dear LORD,

It appeared to some of us, who had recently lost loved ones, that our family members’ attendance at our Thanksgiving tables had decreased considerably. In our family, we have continued to hold our family reunions on Thanksgiving Day at my sister, Gloria “Dena” Allen’s home, every year. Even though, traveling for distance cities, everyone knows what they are expected to contribute to our Thanksgiving celebrations. Sometimes, they bring their assigned contributions to the dinner with them or prepare them after their arrivals.

My assignment is to furnish the dressing and giblet gravy. Because I have never been known to be an efficient cook, I always have to purchase it already prepared. Here of late, to my horror, the places on which I depended no longer exist. However, my nephew and wife, traveling here from Oklahoma, fulfilled my obligation-thanks to God and them.

Before partaking of the delectable delicious foods, we always gather around the heavily laden table, hold hands and a family member prays and blesses the food. Afterwards, while continuously holding hands, we sing in unison, a song some of us “dubbed” as “Grace”. “Grace” was taught to some of us who had been many years earlier, in attendance, at Grambling College (University) under the ample leadership of the late President, Ralph Waldo Emerson Jones.

Before partaking of well-prepared breakfast foods, we were required to stand behind our chairs and tables and sing “Grace” led by previously selected students. After, the “Amen”, we sat at our tables and waited to be served breakfast by student helpers.

None of us in attendance at “Dena’s”, mentioned the obvious empty chairs even though they had not been placed at the table.

LORD, some of us realize Your dismay at the way many of us are celebrating Thanksgiving. Every day should be Thanksgiving Day in all of our lives. Please forgive those of us who fill the pockets of greedy merchants who punish their workers who cannot celebrate Thanksgiving Day with their families in order to prepare their stores for the so-called “marked down” but “marked up” goods on so-called “black Friday”-purpose being, to clear store racks for the displays of heavily overpriced Christmas goods supposedly delivered by the mythical character called Santa Claus and not You!!! Please forgive us Lord!!!

Jacquelyn Simmons

P.S. We really don’t know whether our chairs will be occupied by the next Thanksgiving celebrations!!!