Karis: The Invisible Feast
A feast lies before me today, one that I can touch and taste and feel. Yet I am most grateful that for which can only be known with my mind and heart.
The gifts of this day have come from before me, beyond this place in time. They are intangible things that were forged by men and women of my blood and heritage and by my forefathers for whom I am a kindred spirit, a son of their making, who by their beliefs, values, sweat and blood spilt so freely – I am an American living on this blessed land, gifted with historic and unprecedented freedoms.
What I am today, what I have today and what I am capable of becoming tomorrow – was made possible because of those who came before me. These great gifts of life, liberty, freedom and prosperity, to be lived in all their dimensions, did not simply happen. They were bestowed upon me by the sacrifices of others. Others who faced hard trials, grave dangers and little or no comfort except for the promise of tomorrow – for their children’s children.
I wasn’t there to thank them for what they did, for the pain they endured, for the fears they overcame, for the sacrifices they made that I might have this day. But as I bow my head, I see them before me now. They stand with me, around this table, smiling, knowing their efforts have not been wasted, that their sacrifices were not in vain, that their dreams have been achieved. For I am their child, their son, the future that they dreamed a dream could be.
The blessings they have bequeathed upon me cannot be held or consumed; they cannot be purchased and they cannot be sold; they cannot be stolen or falsely assumed; they can only be bestowed by a willingness to take up the mantel, to embrace the gift, to serve and honor it and give it life. And that begins by giving thanks.
To all those who have walked this land before me and made it a country, their country and a culture of the American spirit; for what they have done, for what they have sacrificed; without whom we would not be a people or a nation; without whom me and other Americans would not be gathered round in celebration; we are honored. This day we have received their blessings.
I am thankful.
John Karis is writer and facilitator in Blue River. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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