I am feeling a bit overwhelmed with the world, right now, how ‘bout you? I woke up to hear that my friend’s 18 year old was literally standing between two of the five people who were shot at a Black Lives Matter rally in Minneapolis. My colleague, Unitarian minister Rev. Fulgence Ndagijimana, has been put in a Burundi jail for “reasons of faith.” Turkey shot down warplanes. Refugees stranded at the Greece-Macedonia border have sewn their lips together in protest.

I feel raw, and unable to process the yawning chasm between these stories and my cozy house, redolent of the tamales I made with my best friend yesterday, with a fine air of joyful anticipation for the family I will have around me for Thanksgiving. I can’t close out the reality that lies beyond my doorstep, but I’m also not willing to go into mourning for the world, eschewing the comfort and pleasure of the holiday.

“So this, then, is grace,” I muse. Grace – unasked for, undeserved, pleasures and circumstances. I’ll give myself a grace period to both mourn and enjoy the world.

Our hearts are large – they can hold both sorrow and joy at the same time. Whether you will be at Live Oak for the Thanksgiving meal, with family, friends, or just enjoying quiet solitude, may your heart be open to all the varieties of the human experience. May you find compassion when faced with a quarrelsome person, kindness for yourself, when you are feeling a little raw. May you receive and extend grace, at the Thanksgiving table and beyond.