Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Reflection

I am writing this on my phone while in line at Target on black Friday.  Technically, it is Thursday, Thanksgiving, and that makes this even more relevant

I saw a woman dying tonight.  When I went through the line the ambulances were already there.  When I walked by the scene the paramedics were doing chest compressions.  The tone of the paramedics were sounding fairly desperate, and one of them had just grabbed the defibrillator.  It did not look good.  

Her family was nearby the grief was obvious and the anguish audible.   Hundreds of people walked by, me included.  Some stood at a distance watching the scene unfold.  Others rushed by clearly annoyed by the unconvinced.  No one, me included, did anything.  What could I do? What do you say to a stranger who's mom hovers between life and death?  I prayed.  I prayed for the woman, for the family, and for the paramedics.  I did nothing else.

I left the scene behind, and entered the typical black Friday madness.  It was full of thick crowds, pushing in tight spaces, and feeding frenzies around the good deals.  It was what we have come to expect.  It was rampant, self centered materialism in its greatest expression.  How many deal hunters were oblivious that just yards away hearts were breaking and people were crying from the bottom of their souls.  

I am writing this because the image haunts me and I can not let it go.  I know it is cliche to say it at this point, but it puts things in perspective.  It is funny how easily we loose perspective.  The family of this woman did not expect her to collapse tonight.  I am guessing that if she did not survive her family would not have chosen standing in line at Target as the way they spend their last moments together.  

Life may be to short to spend it in lines that wrap around the store.  There is a lot more to life than getting stuff, and really material possessions are some of the least important things in life.  

What makes tonight really be put into perspective is that today is still Thanksgiving.  Today should be about giving thanks for the blessings we already have, and treasuring the  important people in our lives.  This day should not be a pre-shopping meal but a full day of gratitude.  It may be a small change, but tonight is the last day that I do this on Thanksgiving.  Giving thanks and spending time with family is more important than getting a good deal, no matter how good it is. 

I pray the woman is ok, and I hope my memories of tonight will help keep my own acquisition order in check.  Hopefully my perspective stays rightly focused.  For tonight, I know once I finally leave this store I will be going home, kissing my wife, and hugging my son.

Sent from my iPhone


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