I'm thankful for gay people.
And illegal immigrants.
And super patriots.
And the poor and marginalized.
And others unnamed.
I say this because each of these groups of people force me to confront the sad reality of my Christian faith. That reality is this - given half a chance, I could go through life on autopilot, checking off various action items on my "Righteousness" checklist. Given half a chance, I'd never have to really deal with the people that aren't part of my Christian world. I could associate with the rest of the shiny, happy Christians, and never worry about the poor of the world, the dispossessed, the other.
Instead, each of these cohorts force me to realize that this a very big world, created by a loving God, who has made a multiplicity of people who don't fit into neat, well-adjusted boxes. The people in this world are a messy lot, filled with desires and ambitions, many of which are at odds with the Creator's goals. As a professed Jesus-person, I am commanded to have loving relationships with all these "others." I have to treat each of these groups as people, instead of faceless entities that I can conveniently ignore. So, my gratitude list is composed of the people who force me to keep my faith living and perhaps even a little raw, always ready to be surprised or maybe even shocked. No easy way out is available to me.
And that's what I'm thankful for today.