With Thanksgiving around the corner, it’s worth revisiting some of the holiday’s most cherished expressions. In such a revisiting, we can discover not only the gaps between aspirations and lived realities, but also redemptive possibilities.

Take, for example, one of the most iconic of Thanksgiving images: Norman Rockwell’s painting, “Freedom from Want.” In the painting, a family, a white family, sits around a table. As the matriarch sets down a plump turkey before her seated clan, the glow from a background window casts a luminous image of togetherness, abundance, anticipation.

Rockwell painted the picture in 1943 as one of four paintings that became covers for the Saturday Evening Post, covers that illustrated and idealized the four freedoms President Franklin D. Roosevelt had espoused in his January, 1941 State of the Union Address.


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