How does one thankfully celebrate by feasting when surrounded by desperate poverty without repulsively standing on one's own Rameumptom saying, "We are thankful that we are so blessed while others, not as deserving as us, are selected to suffer..."For what man among you having twelve sons, and is no respecter of them, and they serve him obediently, and he saith unto the one: Be thou clothed in robes and sit thou here; and to the other: Be thou clothed in rags and sit thou there-- and looketh upon his sons and saith I am just? ...Be one and if ye are not one ye are not mine! DC38
So Thanksgiving became, for us, both a dilemma and an opportunity. To give to all isn't possible with the small means and short sighted vision we have. Will the gift bless or hurt? Who is honestly in need? What would help most, money, food, teaching (most don't speak anything we can understand or speak), what precedents will be set for the next time we pass along their way or for those missionaries who follow us? Etc, Etc. Then to complicate our feelings the turkey we were to eat was given to us... (Are we not all beggars...? Mosiah 4) Indeed we were!
After much prayer and counseling together a plan was hatched which by no means solves all the questions. We will continue to wrestle with these issues for the rest of our lives. Of course we have been conscious of them for years and occasionally were confronted with them on the streets of Salt Lake City; Phoenix, Arizona; New York City; etc but now they swirl around us daily and even from moment to moment.
|John, Sylvestre, Kevin, Anita, Alene, Fulgence, Jackson|
After being confronted by one of our favorite apartment staff members who smiles all the time and leaps to help us carry things in. Though he is always working, he pauses to wave or open the gate for us. So when I asked him, the day before Thanksgiving how he was doing, "Ca va?", and his answer was "pas bien"-(he speaks a little French which means here, "not good") I asked him why, I was really concerned since he was always so happy. He said, "I am hungry". I asked why since you have a paying job? He shook his head no.
I wondered whether he
|Jackson, Isaac, Sylvestr|
The rest of the day was spent trying to be thankful for a gifted turkey that proved to be a real challenge. The landlord's chef cleaned it...mostly... pliers and a knife finished the pin feathers. We washed and washed until we were satisfied. Grammy stuffed it with some of this wonderful whole wheat bread crumb dressing and popped it into the little toy oven.
Trying to determine time and temperature with a toy and no meat thermometer was guess-work at best. We waited then removed the dressing and checked the meat on the inside... still pink. Another hour and it was time to cool and carve. I don't know what those butter-ball guys do but this was not your father's turkey...maybe it was great grandfather's because I dissected more thick skin, blood vessels and endless facia from layers of muscle and tendon. When we finished the brown meat looked and felt raw...kinda purple but the white meat looked good...until you chewed it, and chewed it, and chewed it. Tough old bird, as the saying goes... but we were thankful. The fresh green beans, fresh fruit and yogurt salad, sweet corn and croissants.
Then came the banana cream and apple pies with whipped cream- Sister Jameson's specialty (but then everything is her kitchen speciality).
|With a Smile!|