Dear Colleagues and Partners,
Having just celebrated an annual American holiday, Thanksgiving, I found myself thinking about it in a new way.
Of course, I did begin from the usual (and important!) angle of giving thanks, and of really looking closely at all that I do have to be thankful for. I am often struck by the fact that as a father myself, I often did and do things for my three daughters about which they have absolutely no idea. I just do it, because I am their dad and love them. So too, I often think about the fact that God does things for me/us about which we have absolutely no idea. God just does it because of who God is. And so I gave thanks for things I know nothing about!
Then I also began to think of the legends and myths of America's first "thanksgiving" and the heart warming story of being helped by the indigenous peoples so that they could survive the early cruel and bitter winters.
Of course, the subsequent history, the reality, of how indigenous peoples were treated (and often still are) tells a very different tale.
The legend would suggest that the "pilgrims" were willing to receive help and advice and wisdom from the indigenous people. If true, it represents the sort of heart that we at WCIU believe should be at the center of any authentic transformational development: "we" don't have the answers and solutions, but we can learnt to humbly receive from one another and together find solutions to the roots of human problems.
And by "we" and "together" I mean also, again, the place of God in all of this. And am thus brought back to where I started: giving thanks for all God does to bring God's blessing to all peoples...all the time, constantly pouring out grace. And it is for us to recognize, embrace, and then open handily share together in that goodness.