I’ve had Thanksgiving 4 times this week, 2 of those times being today.
I’m full in every sense of the word.
More full in one specific sense of the word, but I’m not going there.
I spent Sunday with my mama’s side of the family and we had turkey with a random bushel-sized side oysters. We don’t eat oysters, but I have a brother who loves to take things like holidays and fires and wood stoves and then ratchet them up a notch or 10. So we had oysters.
Last night, we experienced our first ever low country boil and it was on the far side of fabulous. We gathered around a table with a couple from our church and their family filled the house. The Man and I ate plates full of shrimp and potatoes and corn and then we ate pumpkin, 3 different ways.
And we saw the image of God reflected back to us in 18 different faces.
This morning, we drove out into the country and gathered with folks we’ve known for years and folks we’ve just recently met and we ate again. We walked across the street and the kids pet the cows and the horses and called to the mule in the corral. They jumped on the neighbor’s trampoline while the grownups rocked in rocking chairs on the front porch. White skin brushed up next to brown skin and Hindus ate turkey alongside Christians and no stones were cast at those who chose to live against the grain of the Bible Belt.
And we were reminded of how great the Father’s love is for us, no matter how we fumble through this life.
Tonight we had turkey with all the fixings, one more time. We sat around a farm table in a log cabin in the middle of the woods and I set my mouth on fire with a spoonful of collards dashed with hot sauce. The kids ate 37 rolls and danced around a fire in the backyard and the women wrangled babies in the house. The men smoked cigars in the backyard and talked about manly things and came into the house smelling like stale smoke and tobacco.
We hugged necks and said our goodbyes and then drove back home, filled up with love for God’s people, and an extra measure of love for the Church.
In less than 24 hours, we’ll boil water for hot chocolate and dump piles of cookies into baskets and we’ll host our 2nd annual Movie on the Lawn in our yard. We’ll hang a screen from the side of the house and shoot The Polar Express onto the white canvas and we’ll huddle around fires in barrels, trying to keep our toes from frostbite. We’ll brush up against brown skin and lean into our neighbors and we’ll forget that life is hard here in our block of the world. We’ll eat a thousand marshmallows and give God space to grow our hearts for one another.
We’ll look at the 60 or so faces that fill our yard and we’ll remember that this place is our home and these faces are our people.
And this week of Thanksgiving will move into a season of Thanks-living,
And we’ll be the Church.
And we’ll keep on giving thanks for what God is about in our place.
*And since it’s Friday and near about Christmas, we have another giveaway! Today’s giveaway is a gift to one lucky reader, from my place. I’m giving away 2 bags of Counter Culture coffee beans from Milton & Miles. It’s their holiday blend and I’d love to GIFT one of you with some amazing coffee while supporting a local business! To enter, tell me one way you LOVE your people or your place!