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Around the Thanksgiving Table with Bernie

This weekend has been marked in my calendar for months. 


Over the last year I have travelled more than any other in my lifetime, so I have marked this weekend to go home and spend time with people that are very dear to me; to share a meal with the folks I long for when I am far away.

This weekend we mark time - a time to reflect on what is good, beautiful, and true in our lives, our communities, and our world. We set time aside for thanksgiving.

King Solomon said years ago that there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven - “a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot.*”

There are indeed times to mourn, tear down, throw away, and refrain. But not this weekend. No, we mark this weekend with open hearts and hands, eyes lifted toward the heavens, and give thanks for the gifts we have so freely been given.

Initially, we may think to offer thanks for the food, shelter, clothing, and safety we enjoy along with the majority of Canadians. But if we look a little deeper we realize what we truly long for.

Since arriving at Food for the Hungry (FH) Canada over a year ago, my eyes have been opened to the source of true joy and the source of crippling misery for all of us. Our deepest joy is found in loving relationships that truly honour the beauty and dignity in the other. Conversely, crippling misery is experienced when our relationships are broken and shattered in exchanges that malign the beauty and destroy the dignity of the other.

Our broken relationships with each other, ourselves, creation, and our Creator have led to an epidemic of global injustice and violence that has left 60 million refugees roaming the earth without a home - more than any other time in our human history.

But this open wound in the body of our global humanity can be healed. One relationship, one community at a time. This weekend as we gather with friends, family, co-workers, neighbours, and hopefully a stranger or two, let us mark the time by giving thanks that healing, reconciliation, and renewal are possible. As you look into one another’s eyes over a meal, pause and let the love that is in you flow to the other without words; let yourself receive the same. And then offer thanks for this indescribable gift. 

If broken relationships are the source of our poverty, then reconciled, loving relationships are the hope to guide us toward thriving communities at home and abroad.

King Solomon finished his poem with these words of wisdom,”I have seen the burden God has laid on us. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of us all; yet we cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.*” Be encouraged that we all, yes all, have been created with divine beauty and dignity. We are created with eternity, love, faith, and hope in our DNA. We have a choice this Thanksgiving - shall we engage and actively release the beauty and good in the other?

This weekend I thank God for thousands of you that have said "yes" in word and deed and partnered with us at Food for the Hungry (FH) Canada to actively pursue reconciliation, redemption, and renewal in vulnerable communities. 

Happy Thanksgiving.

In faith, with hope,


Bernie Willock
President & CEO

*King Solomon quotes taken from Ecclesiastes 3 in the Bible.

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