From an upstairs window, I see the first of our friends, our Blessings, arrive. My curly-haired friend, baby swaddled in her arms and her tall husband turn their heads at the same to watch, and wait on, their laughing toddler as she picks her way merrily along behind them.
Tables have been set, candles lit. In the background, Charlie Brown retells the story of the First Thanksgiving and the door is not yet shut behind these first friends when others begin to round the corner.
From all over the world people have come to our home tonight.
Voices fill our doorway; shoes and sorrows are kicked off for the evening. Sweet Potato Casserole, in all its marsh-mallowy glory, joins The Bird on the kitchen counter. The Bird is a purpose-driven bird.
Everything in its life has led up to this very day. An honorable deed, indeed!
More laughter cascades through our doorway, pumpkins and cornucopias of thanks, peace on earth, goodwill towards men cascading through our halls and the ringing of voice upon voice upon voice grows louder and louder as blessings pour in and fill our home.
The shedding of shoes and sorrows continues.
Bright eyes, young and gentle, peek curiously around, seeking out her friend. The excitement of familiarity, their little hearts leap at seeing each other and with a twist and wiggle she slips from her daddy’s arms and darts away with a sister-friend. The pat-pat-pat of bare feet on bare stairs, up to play they go.
Souls. Long-burdened but thankful, Blessings are spilling through our doorway, down the hall, into the kitchen. Trays and platters, sweet, savory, laughter, hello’s and “so-good-to-see-you’s”, fill rooms to the top, spilling out the window and into the heavy evening air around our home.
From the kitchen, I hear the Preacher call the Blessings together. Heads bow and eyes slip closed around the room to greet the Thanks-receiver: The He who began all and gives all. The He who gives us faith and the reason for faith and hope and patience. The Provider. The Storm-calmer. The baby-grower, the burden carrier. The One who wipes away our sins and will wipe away all our tears. The One who was before. The One who will be after. Thanks be to Him who gathers us here together. The One who has provided us with a place to worship, who is the center of our worship.
The Preacher is still praying, I secretly peek. This gathering is wonder and amazement to me. His laugh, her smile, the baby still growing inside. From the corners of the world they have gathered here today. The Blessings.
And all God’s people said….Amen!
Letting the eating commence!
As joy and sorrow and peace and puzzles are heaped on our lives we heap The Bird and sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, bread (He is the Bread of Life) onto our plates. This feast is a foretaste of the next great feast when we see His Glory and taste the fulfillment of his Great Plan!
The feasting slows, evening grows darker, laughter washes over Blessings as they wash pots, pans, mugs, and serving spoons.
Shoes are found and laced back on, the sorrows kicked off earlier now seem to have been lost, or their burden not so heavy now. The Blessings, family by family, sleepy child by sleepy child, take laughter and light with them into the darkness.
The last friends leave, down the corridor, toddler in arms, the echo of their footsteps behind them.
I shut the door and evidence of Life remains. Full to the brim, the Preacher and I sit. Thankful.