For a while, Dave and I watched Monk a lot. It was light and fluffy, but the characters were charming. I mention this because the lead character often said (about all manner of things, but especially about his OCD), "It's a blessing. And a curse."
This seems particularly relevant to me as I begin to pray Thanksgiving prayers. It's an awkward time of year to have a difficult family situation. I sometimes feel embarrassed, a little ashamed, when people talk about their holiday plans, and then ask what we'll be doing. I love our quiet observances, just the two of us. I love them because they're a safe haven, and our extended families aren't consistently safe or nurturing. I wish very much that they were, and it's not just the holidays that are sad. (The myth seems to be that you either love or hate your family. The truth for me is that I adore my family, which makes it a hell of a lot harder to keep a safe distance.)
But here's the other side of it: this week, a woman I know asked for prayer-- and she knew it was okay to come to me, because I had talked to her about my own family. She knew I would have compassion (not to mention bountiful prayers to lift on her behalf).
If my struggles mean that I can love someone better, that I can listen to someone with my whole heart, then the blessing is bigger than the curse.
There are many things I'm grateful for (a safe home, a kind husband, good food, good friends), but that blessing is my best prayer of thanksgiving this year.
The Feast of the Annunciation
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