I was left righteously uncomfortable by a post my wife received on Facebook this morning. Its gist was that we are often thankful for things that actually arise from privilege. The more I reflected on this post the more deeply I realized how uncomfortable I am with many of the Collects in our Book of Common Prayer whose less than fully PC equivalent would be thankfulness, for example, for the vast empty spaces in the Americas Providence provided the colonists. Really?
My discomfort arises, I believe, from a gradual recognition that nearly everything I count as divine gifts is tainted by the circumstances under which it was obtained: theft, pillage, deceit, and violence whose circumstances are only mysterious (and hence providential) because we refuse to acknowledge them and not because they are particularly divine.
On this Thanksgiving in particular I am hoping we all take care to notice which “blessings” we count are the issue of violence and seizure and which are genuine articles of grace.