Saturday, March 8, 2014


These I will take with me:

  • Countertops full of food, each brought by different hands, each prepared in different kitchens, all dishes filled to overflowing with love;
  • Entryway full of shoes, full to overflowing, full so that you laugh as you enter, wondering "Will I ever find my own again?" and not really caring;
  • Smiles and voices and glad hellos as you enter, faces that mirror your own affections, histories, inside jokes; faces that welcome you and really, really are glad to be together;
  • Conversation about what is going on in the lives of these friends, and what is going on in the lives of those who couldn't be there, not shared in gossip but in love;
  • Humor, humor that cuts almost to the bone (but not quite) and knows when to stop; or, failing that, knows to back off and ask forgiveness;
  • Children shared among families, children who through long association trust these parents more than aunts and uncles, but as one giant extended family.  They climb from lap to lap, run up and down the stairs, invade the adults' space to wrap the grown-ups into their games, and retreat back downstairs to play with the others who are so much part of their lives that they cannot stand not to be together;
  • Conversation, jokes, laughter that pauses without embarrassment to pray; acknowledges the presence of Jesus fully and returns to conversation, knowing He is present the whole time without compromise;
  • Laughter so full and raucous and down to the marrow that tomorrow my stomach will hurt and tonight my head is foggy and I wonder, "Did we really talk about that?!" -- I know we did, and I am amazed and delighted that we are so far into each other's lives we can have that conversation without embarrassment;
  • Sisters and brothers wound so far and so tightly into my life that I have no fear of losing them, only a vague unrest until the next get-together is on the calendar; 
  • Family that reflects Jesus into my life, reflects his love and his presence for me; he is the Friend of this sinner and in these friends he has befriended this sinner without reservation.  
I am truly blessed!

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