Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Place

A few days ago, I started to worry about Thanksgiving.

I read Becca's post and it ripped my guts out. It's beautiful and wild, and there's just no combination I love more these days. I felt so proud of my girl for loving her people so fully, so well.

It got me all excited.
It made me jealous.

I wanted that big room bursting at the seams, rowdy boys and ladies taking a load off. I wanted to be in that mix. It made me envious that our life is so settled here, in our little hood. It's not even close to crazy enough.

If all of this sounds messed up to you, it's only because it is.
I'm choosing desperate honesty, friends. Anything else is wasting our time.

And isn't this just like Satan? It's just like that nasty rat to make us compare gifts and decide ours come up lacking.

It's just like him to tell us the neighbors don't need us and we don't need them. It's just like him to make us believe we should go big or stay home.

The truth is, sometimes God's ridiculous request is that we go small and stay put.

Because while I lamented the dearth of prostitutes on 5th Street, there sat a strapping kid slurping his first mug of homemade cocoa in amazement. I handed him a beater from the whipped cream. He licked it and asked, "How'd you do that?" He tracked me down in the laundry room and said I "nailed" it. He joked that it was never too late for that mom-sort of thing, and though I laughed along with him, we both thanked God that it's true.

Thanksgiving is family. It's God's provision bowing the table legs.

I can't stomach the thought of anyone missing out on this communion, this clasping of hands and clatter of voices.  I pray God leads them here, somehow, some way. I pray that when He does, I recognize them as belonging to me - my family.

It's Wednesday morning and we're all up to our earlobes in potato peels and gravy. It's hectic and the lists are long, but we still have a whole day to become someone's place at the table. There's plenty of time for a family to grow.

I know wishing is for Christmas, but I'm taking an advance today. I don't want anyone left in the lurch this year. I want to be sick to death of living the traditions of exclusion and convenience.

I want us all to believe what we offer - our tiny, messy kitchens, our pans of mac & cheese - take the form of the living, breathing God who lives in us and moves among us.

I want more of the healing that happens when strangers and meth-heads and broken girls and lost boys and compulsive liars and lonely dads and welfare babies and slum lords and undocumented citizens and grieving women and tired grandmas and the scared, the broken, the prideful, the closed-minded, the ashamed and impatient and angry and loud come together and share a pan of Parker House rolls.

This is God's body, broken for every single one of us, no exceptions.

Be ready for them, friends - the one person or the twenty.
Be ready to welcome them the way you have been welcomed.

Skewer every lie with the jagged end of the wish bone.
All of it, any of it, is BIG and worthy.

Happy Thanksgiving, Sisters. Happy Thanksgiving, Brothers.