Thanksgiving 1998

I would be surprised to discover a reader who has not experienced the joy and satisfaction of a thankful heart. Christian and Zen readers alike are taught to be open to the gift of life–especially the gift of our personal lives the creation of which we have had nothing to do. When I am thankful, I am alive and feel blessed. There is a well within that springs to life. A thankful heart confirms the wisdom of accepting things as they are, and, in Christian terms, to perceive that this is the day the Lord has made for us. What could make more sense than to be “glad and rejoice in it?”

Why, then, is it sometimes hard to be thankful?

Generosity and thankfulness are directly related. I become generous when I am thankful. I have noticed that about many of you as well. In fact, I think it is a readily observed law of human life.

So, am I thankful for Pietisten? Is it more than a burden and a host of obligations? It takes tons of time. It seems impossible to really get ahead with it. How many more times can we do it? People have subscribed out as far as the 56th issue and this is the 45th. Ufta!

How did this come to be? It is hard to account for it. Will it continue? How long, Oh Lord? How long?

Pietisten amazes us. Few are more surprised than we are that it continues and that the number of readers and writers grows. There are reasons that are not obvious, but one is clear to us. Pietisten arises out of friendships. It begins with the friendships of those who get together to talk about it, write it, and edit it, and it is sustained by the wider friendships that flow out of our connections with one another in the pages of this journal. These friendships are wonderful and I love them.

Another factor, a big part of Pietisten, is humor. It’s not that we are so funny, but most of the people involved love a good laugh. Among the best laughs, very easy to come by, are the laughs at our own foibles. I’m not sure what is so funny about our human foibles or why it is healthful and fun to laugh at ourselves. Maybe when we recognize our human ineptness, we see the silliness of taking ourselves too seriously and we realize that our lives are clearly gifts, God’s reckless gift.

Pietisten has a life of its own. It is a community, it is a conventicle composed of all who pay attention, pay for subscriptions, write, and talk with one another. Of course, that’s the problem. If no one were reading, writing, subscribing, or supporting Pietisten, we would not have to publish another issue. It would be dead!

But, it’s not dead so here we are.

Thanks giving keeps Pietisten alive. Laughter and friendship keep it alive. Praise keeps it alive. Thanks to one and all. – Ed.