A Thanksgiving Prayer

by Joshua Stelling


For those at this table

I offer this prayer of thanks

Not for this meal

Though we are grateful

Not for what lay before us

Rather for what we leave behind

Not for what has been given

Today I offer thanks for what we have lost

A father, a son, a sister, a daughter

That we took for granted

We never gave thanks like it was due

Did not say what should have been said

We were not there when we ought to have been

In short, that we regret what is now beyond our reach to repair

This you already know

That we are thankful for what we had

Though the time too short

This you already know

So I offer a different thanks

I thank you for the loss

For the unfinished dreams

For the unhealed hearts

For the time that will not ever pass

For the lesson that winning all is no less transient than losing

Living forever no less temporary than a breath

Tragedy exists in the grace of your love

Immense, like night to embrace a candle

Our unfinished lives are like light from a candle

Or a star that has gone to dust

Will not be fed yet will journey forever



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