We had Thanksgiving dinner this week.
I know that sounds like a given—everyone had Thanksgiving dinner this week.
But there was no way this family was going to swing a dinner this year.
The day started with dad at the hospital learning how to give mom various medications and me waiting at home for delivery of a hospital bed so that mom could avoid stairs for a week or so. My sis-in-law Steph came over and brought me a present from my friend (and her sister) Sarah- a HUGE box of LUSH bubble bath- one of my very favorite things. She also informed me that her mom Nancy had made us an entire turkey dinner that would be delivered later that afternoon. Mom arrived home in the early afternoon and by 5pm Steph and my brother John arrived bearing boxes and boxes (and a laundry basket!) full of food. Nancy had made an ENTIRE Thanksgiving meal- literally everything you could ever think of eating. Home made bread and pies even!
As our house filled up with all the wonderful smells of Thanksgiving and the sounds of laughter, I soaked up the blessing of this gift to us. We needed these moments of joy and peace after a week of hospital food and difficult news.
This week has made me think a lot about family. Not just the family I was born into, but the enormous family of God. Sometimes it just makes me smile, the way God ties us together in relationships with the other people who are following him. If he is our Father then we really are family!
A couple of weeks ago I got a text from Delbert and Lula that started out:
“Aoo ya’a’teeh abiini sheea’whee”
I know that “Ya’a’teeh abiini” means good morning, but the rest was unfamiliar to me, so I asked what it meant.
“It means Good Morning dear daughter”, Delbert texted back.
My Navajo family. The greeting made me smile, and made me think of all my other “relatives” in Jesus around the world.
When we got news about mom’s cancer, I got messages from Slovakia, Czech Republic, Russia and all over the Unites States.
“We are praying for your mom”
“We are asking God to give your family peace and courage”
Some of my favorite messages came from the Navajo community.
“God can heal her. He healed me. We will pray for a big miracle for your mom to beat that thing in the holy name of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. All will be well. Amen and Amen”
“We feel the pain that comes with sad news for you. The first thing I thought was when you told us about your mom having you to remember scriptures when you were little. They will comfort you. And that’s when a feeling of God doing His work for her came over me. He can heal her.”
“We will pray for your mom. But we will pray in Navajo, if that’s ok?”
Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world
(St. Teresa of Avila)
Our family has been so blessed by the prayers, cheery flowers and practical help of our enormous extended family this week. What a joy to know that God is moving behind the scenes through his followers to meet our every need, and even some of our wants.
Like Thanksgiving dinner.
I’m thanking God for you all!