Family, A Thanksgiving

Posted: November 28, 2019 in Meditations
group of people wearing ice skates

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on

The kids are asleep. Mom owns the bed, the television and the two remotes. Hey, the Queen rules. I sit in a McDonald’s booth, pen in hand anticipating a bit of alchemy to flow from ink. It’s Thanksgiving morning, I time to pause, a time to reflect. Family done right is the best gift I can think of this side of heaven. My wife, my children, my grandchildren: folks, I’m a rich man. What I’ve done for a living, the places I’ve seen all fade to black compared to the extended embrace of my wife, tiny fingers of a grandchild clasped in mine, the affectionate barbs of four imps – my rascally kids! And this is only the immediate family. I’m one of five, my mother one of six, my father one of eleven. Encampments of the Brown tribe prepare to honor Thanksgiving 2019 across this nation.

And what will we celebrate? Relationships, ties that run deep, shared histories that shape and define us. We look beyond each other’s faults, we see the face of God. A brief illustration, my twin boys were eighth graders. One of the twins shot off his mouth to a school tough, not a good idea for a scrawny boy in search of puberty. A cocked right hand signaled impending street justice. A blindside shot knocked the boy off balance. Two boys pummeled a hapless sap with a bruised ego. Don’t mess with twins, especially if their last name is Brown. Families stick together, they stand in the gap when nobody else will. Time and wallets repeatedly open. We love, then love again.

Most of us understand family. We get it, we live it. But do we understand God’s role in family? In God’s plan, family points us to the heart of God. The concepts we learn in family: loyalty, faithfulness, forgiveness, unconditional love – these are all attributes of God’s love. My family is what it is because of God’s abiding love. We have discovered love and trust without borders because of the revolutionary life altering work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. “But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! Matthew 5:44 “If you love only those who love, what reward is there in that?” My family extends that love globally and in community. It no longer constrains to the borders of clan and tribe. “We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19 Yes, we see the face of God in family. But we now see the face of God in everyone. We see God’s possibilities in man’s impossibilities.

Today, I give thanks for my family. I thank God for his many blessings bestowed upon me. But none of this means anything without the love of Christ reigning in our hearts. Christ is the tie that binds our hearts through thick and thin. We are now the face of God to others, his hand extended to a desperate needy world. Today, celebrate with purpose. Love, laugh, even cry around your tables. Be bold. Love, then love again. In the end, Christ is all that matters.



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