Whether your table looks like this
a picture off the internet all pretty-pretty and perfect or not– may the Lord bless you and keep you and yours.
Saturday I was at an indoor water park and as I stood in line to go down a water slide I looked at the tattoo of the man in front of me. It had a lot of numbers and it took my brain longer than it should have to process “something something 87 — 2.2.2013.”
I asked the man if he was memorializing someone. Clearly he was, but it was the best I could muddle together standing there dripping water. He was, his brother. The hardest thing he’d ever faced, he said, this unexpected death.
Firsts can be exciting, as in baby’s first Christmas. They can also be disorienting when loss is involved as we stumble and fumble towards a new normal. I’m thankful the man in front of me marked his body in such a way that I knew a little bit about his heart. In front of him was a boy about age 10, son, nephew, friend, I don’t know. Rarely does life fall in one clear category of being all sorrow or all joy as this man was now thinking of his brother and laughing with the boy. A metaphor of life. Of the messiness of life.
Today I’m over at Velvet Ashes (and if you missed it, the book club started earlier this week!) sharing about one of my holiday “firsts” as I was met and a new normal established.
Packages began to arrive with paper turkeys, pumpkins, and pilgrims. If you thought The First Thanksgiving was a production, you should have seen the culture lecture Erin and I put on for our students. Naive and energetic, we wrote skits, required practices, and learned more facts than I’ll ever need this side of Jeopardy. (Speedwell, anyone, anyone?! How about this one, 51 dead?!)
But Thanksgiving is more than a production, it’s a practice. A discipline really. A slowing down and feasting together. A remembering of how great is Thy faithfulness.
A few problems arose when it came to the discipline and ritual behind creating that space. First, we had not yet gotten over the meat market traumatization our first week and the only food we had perfected was frying potatoes. So, eating more fried potatoes didn’t feel special, it felt like survival. Next problem, … continue reading here.
as joy and sorrows are mingled together, Amy
Related article: So constantly enjoyed I’m prone to forget
Photo cc on Flickr