Monday, March 8, 2010

A Matter of Family

Saturday evening, I opened the front door and entered into Phil and Jean's home for an evening of food, folks, and fun. My friends, Phil and Jean love hosting a potluck supper and night of cards at their home almost every other week. Anywhere from six to ten or more come to gather round their large dining room table for a night of feasting and fun. This particular night there were fifteen of us. Fifteen people elbow to elbow at the table, smiling, chatting, and then quieting down as Phil led us in grace.
I had sauteed broccoli and cauliflower with garlic and olive oil, Jean roasted two chickens, Laura brought turnips, Craig a delicious zucchini casserole, Kathleen, a Caesar salad, Andy, two apple cakes, Tom and Monique the infamous Holy Cow ice cream cake, Mike, a couple of loaves of "pull bread", and someone else the mashed potatoes. It was a feast! I felt as if Thanksgiving had arrived early this year. As I looked around the table I marveled at the wide range of ages present. Bill and Dee, both grandparents are well into their 70's. Mike is a middle aged father of two adorable children, ages four and seven months. Others were parents of college grad.'s or grade school children, a few middle aged singles, and then myself.
We joked, passed potatoes, smiled and savored. We simply enjoyed being together. Being together as friends and family. As each one finished their meal, the women helped Jean clear dishes and clean up. The cards were shuffled and dealt, while Dee, Brian and I tried out another game called Jambo. Dee picked it up from somewhere. We tried it, but Dee was winning. She left Brian and I far, far in the dust. I think her, son Craig knew better not to get involved in that one. He watched the others play Ulcer Rummy and later joined us along with Maribel, for a few rounds of Uno. He laid down the dreaded "draw four" card for his mom. "On your own mother?!", she exclaimed.
"Only business, nothing personal," he replied. Not before long, that became the phrase used by all. We never really kept score, but yours truly managed to win at least 3 rounds. Olivia, our youngest player, age four, was beginning to pick up as well. Dee's winning streak from the first game was now long gone.
What fun! What great food! What a shadow of things to come! Each week we come together for Sunday service at the River to worship. This night it was for pure, unadulterated FUN! Psalm 133:1 reads, "How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!"
I long for the day when our family and more will be gathered around that great table in heaven for the feast that will never end! We will continue to eat, drink, share, and smile. Until then, may we always give thanks for these memorable snapshots given to us. He has made us a family and He has made us friends. Most importantly though, He has made us one.

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