Bless this mess

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As we sit at the table on Thanksgiving Eve, Lord bless this food that we are about to receive.

Bless the hands that prepared the meal, even when they pretend it’s no big deal.

Bless the man who takes the first bite, his wife in the kitchen most of the night.

Bless the worn carpet and dirty shoes, bless the drivers that are a tad rude.

Bless this mess, Lord.

Bless this mess.

Bless the family, whose table is missing chairs.

Those gone but not forgotten, their seats are everywhere.

This day is so much harder, since they left this earth, but times marches on, even when it hurts.

So, we will glance out of habit at that empty place setting, wondering and wishing and missing and fretting.

But today, we are thankful, for many seats are full.

Full of life, full of joy, full of noise and a little stress.

Bless this mess, Lord.

Bless this mess.

Bless the man who drops his fork. His phone rings at the table. He is required to report — to leave his family to visit another, a one across town, who is cooking something other.

Something other than turkey, stuffing, and pie. They are making something that will cause them to die.

Please hurry, officer, there are children inside.

Bless this mess, Lord

Bless this mess.

Bless the women and men who are finally home. Their boots are dusty. They are tattered and worn.

They surprise you at the door, with a hug and a kiss. You’ve longed for this moment, prayed to see their face.

Because no matter what they have seen, they are safe here now. Surrounded by family, their heads they bow.

They grasp the hand of the one standing beside them. They say grace and they dine.

They live in two worlds, they can’t shake the memories, but today, that’s fine.

Today, they will focus on family and love.

And protection and provision from the good Lord above.

Bless this mess, Lord

Bless this mess.

Bless the family just down the road, whose electric was shut off just days ago.

They could not pay the bill, so now they are cold. Maybe if we sit closer, we will stay warm?

Preparing a feast is the last thing on their minds, or maybe the first? They are hungry and tired.

But praise God for one who notices, or just has a feeling, that a basket full of food is just what they are needing.

Bless the man who cries real tears, and the children who dance on the front porch with bare feet, they are feeling so incredibly blessed.

Bless this mess, Lord

Bless this mess.

Bless the loud relative. Bless the young folk.

Bless the family who sneaks to the front porch to smoke.

Bless the dog who barks the entire meal. Bless the family who is so real.

Bless the time that we have today, for this is how memories are made.

Bless the cousins, bless the chocolate pie, bless the lonely passer-by.

In all situations, we are to rejoice, to give thanks every day, to speak truth with our voice.

No matter what family looks like at your table, tell them you love them, right now, as you are able.

Holidays and happenings come and go, but family is the rock, the heart of the home.

So gather ‘round and cherish each member that is left.

Bless this mess, Lord.

Bless this mess.

Christie Elkins is a Campbell County native whose columns appear weekly on the Lifestyles page of the LaFollette Press. She’s a mother of three and a full-time blogger at www.mywalkwitheden.com.