A lot of my friends are doing the “# Day of Thanks” thing. I’m not doing that. I don’t have a problem with it, and I see no harm in it; nor am I about to write an post about how we are supposed to be thankful every day. I just needed a way to start.
As some of you know, my wife had a pretty invasive surgery on Monday of this week. Enduring a septoplasty, doctors hacked at her with hammer, chisel and other instruments of torture until there was no deviation left in her septum. Now, I want those of you who have not had the distinct pleasure of this experience to imagine this (and, yes, this is exactly how the doctor described it to me): “Imagine if you’ve been punched repeatedly in the face, but from the inside of your head.”
Needless to say, my lovely bride had been useless this week. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t say “useless” in the sense that I am somehow disappointed with what she has and/or has not been able to do around the house or with the family this week. It isn’t that. You have to understand that my wife’s primary spiritual gift is hospitality. She loves to serve. She serves her family, her friends, and, sometimes, even strangers. God put that desire in her. But this week, she can’t do anything.
Monday night a married couple prepared dinner for us – a delicious pot roast with brownies for dessert. It was enough for dinner and lunch the next day. Tuesday night I discovered that yet another couple was planning to send us dinner. I called to double check (as I had a rehearsal and would not be home), told them it really wasn’t necessary but they insisted. The next night, yet another couple brought a pan of lasagna that was, from what I am told, legendary!
Yesterday, another couple invited us into their home to celebrate and partake of their bounty. We ate obscenely good turkey, spicy corn, dressing, spinach dip, cranberry sauce, green beans, candied carrots, yummy buttery rolls, all washed down with legit southern sweet tea. Pumpkin and pecan pies and crock pot chocolate lava cake for dessert. BE JEALOUS! Afterward we talked, watched the “Browncoats Unite” reunion special followed by various episodes of something called “Duck Dynasty.” My wife spent time vegging on the couch and doing girly stuff with the chef, and my friend (who is also a pastor) and I talked theology interspersed with random movie quotes.
My family and I hang out with these couples on a regular basis (especially if it’s not soccer season). I love them. They are crazy! Their hilarious! They are insane! They are… (How does that saying go?) … nuttier than squirrel poo.
So, yesterday, I sat thankful for all the blessings and opportunities God has seen fit to bestow upon me. I sat thankful for a thanksgiving experience that was not “low stress” but “no stress.” And today I remain thankful for my family – the nuclear version, the extended version, and the version that has grown out of unlikely friendships. I am thankful for a God Who is “Father to the fatherless”, and for the family that we can be in Christ.
Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds; rejoice before him – his name is the Lord. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.
– Psalm 68:4-6