A few years ago, before Covid reared it’s ugly head, I was at Kroger the day before Thanksgiving and I saw this elderly man pushing his cart.
He had a single Swanson Turkey and dressing frozen meal in there and a single slice of pumpkin pie. I watched as he walked slowly to add a can of green beans and a package of rolls.
I wanted to place my hand on him and invite him to come eat with us but I was not hosting at my own house.
I was picking up a few things to make dessert and a salad to take to my aunt’s house where we had gathered since Mema had gone to dance in Glory.
I have not been able to get that man off my mind and in the last few years since, so much as changed.
Shelter in Place, Covid, fear and other things have kept the tradition from continuing.
It isn’t the same anymore.
So, there’s about to be a new thing…do you not perceive it?
Jesus and Mema have been talking to me for months now, reminding me of who raised me and who I am and who I’m called to be and what my gifts are.
So I’ve been praying about having the gatherings at my home and I felt the gentle push from Jesus and Mema….” Go ahead, this is what you love to do.. this is what you are created for “
So I started off by contracting with Craig Tatum to bring my dream to reality- a home that reflected the Texas sunset that I love so much.
Then Greg Mead and I started planning and inviting and making a list of desserts and favorite foods.
Two weeks ago, I pulled out my Mema’s cookbooks and the handwritten list of her Thanksgiving menu fell b into my lap.
Mema always made everybody’s favorite desserts. She made sure Ryan Johnson had fruit salad without marshmallows, she made sure there was buttermilk pie, chocolate pie, pecan pie and just about every cake she could come up with.
She loved doing this and we all felt her love.
So I started making my own list/ German Chocolate cake for one friend, cheesecake for another, apple pie for one
And my heart just kept dancing.
My daughter in law requested deviled eggs and I looked for a recipe and found a hack I’ll use.
We decided to have two gatherings- one on Thursday, the actual thanksgivings day and another on Saturday because some very important people can’t make it Thursday.
I am not going to assume anything about anyone .,, I’m not going to assume they have a family to go to or a place at the table…I’m going to open my heart and my home.
If I see someone at the grocery store with a frozen Swanson meal and sad eyes, I’m going to invite them to come on over.
This makes me remember another man at Kroger…in his motorized wheelchair, he asked me to reach an item that he couldn’t and as I handed it to him, he said,” can I ask you for another thing?”
“Of course.” I said, thinking he wanted another can of food.
“Would you hug me, please?”
I reached down and hugged him and felt his hands quiver as he held on.
When I stepped back, he had tears in his eyes and told me that since his wife had died several years ago, that was the first hug he had. He told me that they didn’t get to have children and so he was alone and waiting for his time to go but he sure did miss getting a hug.
Sometimes it’s so very simple, one small act of kindness can touch a heart, one invitation can start a tradition, one glance can begin a friendship.
“ I will make a way in the wilderness and streams in the desert”
There You go again, Jesus, telling me that you aren’t getting rid of the wilderness but You’re going to make a way through it and You’re going to make streams in the desert and that just might be sweet tea and cold beer served to a bunch of people that are gathered together giving thanks!
Please, if you don’t have plans or if the plans don’t feel good to your soul but feel like an obligation, please send me a message and let me know
Come, just as you are…hungry and thirsty is best!