I was thinking about this exchange of words we all likely use dozens of times every day without even thinking about it. We teach our children to say both parts, but it feels to me like the second part, the “you’re welcome”, is a bit of a throw-away phrase. People get upset if you don’t say “thank you”, but I don’t usually find that someone gets too riled up if they don’t get a “you’re welcome” in return.
“You’re welcome.” You are welcome. Are you?
On this day of Thanksgiving when we’re so focused on what we are grateful for, what we are thankful for, I find myself thinking about who and what I am welcoming instead.
Am I welcoming the stranger?
Am I welcoming the person in need?
Am I welcoming those who look different than myself?
Am I welcoming those who believe differently?
Am I welcoming God into every corner of my life?
Am I holding onto any resentment, anger, or distrust or am I welcoming forgiveness?
Am I welcoming those who might have burdens greater than I’m comfortable to help with?
Am I welcoming change in myself?
Am I welcoming all those I encounter, whatever their story or status, into my life and my community?
Am I welcoming love?
Perhaps someday we’ll have a National Day of “You’re Welcome”, where we all focus on who we can reach out to, where we can expand our boundaries and see just how much wider we can open our arms and hearts.
Today I’m thankful for so much. But today I’m going to look for where I can welcome more.
If you are reading this, you are welcome in my life, and for that I’m thankful.