Many years ago a man would gather with his friends for a dinner…his last dinner with them. Among them would be a deceiver, a betrayer, a doubter, young, old, men and women. He would take a path few desire and even fewer choose. He would set the example as one who serves, offers…loves.
This year my family will gather but there will be a space at the table and a heart beat that skips for the ones who are not with us. I always longed for a family, for reunions, for memories of loved ones seated together in love, respect, and gratitude. I pursued it by creating it for others…that which I did not have in my own life. When I had a family of my own, I opened the door to those who found themselves alone, lonely, hoping for the same thing…to be included.
I am grateful for so very many things in my life and I thank God for all He has done in my life; loss, birth, friendship, adversity, joy, pain, tears, sleep, and hope. I grieve, however, for the attitudes I see in our country this week. Some hope for a voice, others utilize the grieving of others as an opportunity to pulpit their perspectives with violence as if violence has ever caused anything more than pain and death for the sake of power for the few and momentary freedom for the many.
I do not know what the next year may bring, but I will endeavor to embrace those who have no connection, no family, no friend, and have lost hope of love. I will do it with kindness, prayer, food, shelter, and love. There will always be those who differ in opinion and choose various ways of impressing that opinion on others with passionate pleas of prejudice backed with bullets and batons, but some of us will use the weapons of faith in love.
Many of us will gather tomorrow and amongst those present will be much the same as Yeshua faced. We know the back stories in our own families, but still we seek connection–some for love, some out of respect, some to look proper, some hoping to reconnect, to resolve, to forgive and forge a stronger connection, a stronger future. May we find strength and may prayers be answered for hope and a future that is brighter than today and that will not be eclipsed by hatred, strife, and jealousies. How blessed it is when brethren dwell in unity together.