The Trump Card of Thankful Responses
Okay America, it’s almost time for that awkward moment of silence that we experience as part of our Thanksgiving tradition. I’m not talking about the silence that happens when the person who’s asked to say grace, who hasn’t prayed out loud since he was asked at Thanksgiving five years ago, tries to remember what he prayed back then. I’m talking about the silence that fills the room when someone (usually an older person) at the Thanksgiving meal says,
Since it’s Thanksgiving I think we should all go around the table and say something we’re thankful for this year!
Of course the person who asks has been thinking about this moment all week. He’s memorized a list of things to throw out there to prime the pump. He looks around and all he sees are blank looks. The silence is deafening. Everyone can hear their heart beating. Beads of sweat begin to form on foreheads. Some are swallowing nervously. Everyone waits. No one wants to go first. One by one he looks at everyone around the table. Still nothing. It seems like an eternity but it’s only been a few seconds.
Then he decides what item from his long list to share. With an overly confident smile on his face he decides to show why he was the one who asked the question. He pulls out the trump card of thankful statements! He says,
Okay, I’ll start. I’m thankful for everyone here at the table.
Oh, no! At that moment everyone thinks, “He pulled the trump card! There is no way that I can top that!” Outwardly everyone nods seriously and smiles nervously. He’s thrown down the gauntlet. Is there anyone who is brave enough to speak now? It’s not possible to top that. Once again silence fills the room. Then, your darling little niece says,
I’m thankful for my kitty.
YES! You’re saved! Everyone smiles and says things like, “Isn’t that cute?” “You’re such a sweetheart!” The danger has passed. Then, with the burden of topping the trump card gone, everyone shares freely. There is a collective sigh of relief.
Another Thanksgiving tradition has been honorably kept.
In everything give thanks! 1 Thessalonians 5:18