The Holiday’s have always meant something more to me then just a time for turkey and gift giving. Growing up in extreme poverty, the emphasis was always placed on us being together as a family. My grandparents, on my father’s side, had a beautiful home and believed you paid cash for everything. They even had money saved in old baby jars in their closet. We would pack up and take the two-hour drive to see them for Thanksgiving and they would come to us at Christmas. Just walking through the front door of their home was a memory itself - the smells that came from the oven & my grandmother in an apron dusted with flour. It was really always just like the movies.
For people living in extreme poverty we seemed richer then kings in those moments. There were two TV’s in their house, one in color and one in black and white. The Macy’s Thankgiving Day Parade was always on the color TV and us kids would gather and watch the Twilight Zone Marathon on the black and white one. When the turkey was done, we would gather around the table together and give thanks. Maybe then it seemed the day was about food and clear TV to watch, but I remember the conversations and the feeling like they were my family and we had something going there that was like a keepsake. We were establishing traditions that I carried with me, and I banked in all in my memory, even exactly how to cook a turkey and all the trimmings.
It says something when you become aware of your surrounding to make mental notes you don’t even know your making. I realize now more and more that being in the presence of what was happening then shaped and caused me to become more present now. I wasn’t trained or taught how to be a great cook or set a table. Maybe there was a lesson or two along the way, I can’t remember that clearly, but what I do remember is the way the house smelled and looked and can still see my mother and grandmother basting a turkey and boiling potatoes. I can see my grandmother’s hands cutting a crust for a pie and dumping cinnamon sugared apples into the pie pan before sliding it into the oven.
God is like this. His presence is so similar. To be in the atmosphere of His presence and just be around him causes us to learn his mannerisms and his attributes. He surrounds the air with the contentment of who He is and there is family and safety in His presence. God is like Thanksgiving dinner and hot apple pie. He is comfort and home. When I think back to those past Holiday experiences, I realize that He was always there with us. He was why we were a family, and He was why we were thankful. As 2014 ends let His presence come and surround you with comfort and consolation. He is in the old memories and is ready to make new ones.