I haven’t received many fancy dinner invitations and wouldn’t know where to begin if my place at the table was set with more than two forks. Many of my favorite holiday memories, though, revolve around food. Maybe it’s an American thing.
When I think of Christmases past, I can remember sitting on a tall stool at Pama’s rounded kitchen bar, sneaking one of Aunt Ronda’s deviled eggs while the other grandkids were playing in the backyard. Later, I would fill my plate with ham, Pama’s amazing dressing and giblet gravy (she put boiled eggs in the dressing and the gravy), hot rolls, and green bean casserole.
That was just the first trip. If my uncles hadn’t caught the bird on fire trying to fry it, there was plenty of turkey to go around. If someone decided to let my mom into the kitchen, she might make fruit salad and a cheesecake. I always crossed my fingers that Aunt Becky would bake her sausage balls and broccoli rice casserole. By the time the Cowboy’s game came on, I was stuffed.
Not too stuffed to eat the leftovers, though.
Over the years the menu changed some. We might have Uncle Duane’s gumbo and some brisket to boot. My mom learned how to cook and would make Pama’s dressing to go with it.
Unfortunately, my own cooking skills are underdeveloped. If it was all up to me, my family might starve … or be served fried bean burritos from Allsups.
It’s OK, though, because I finally got one of those fancy dinner invitations:
“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!”–Psalms 34:8 (NKJV)
Cordially, God summons me to His table to experience His goodness.
It’s a reminder that the One who gave me five senses, invites me to use each one to discover all of the reasons why I can trust in Him fully.
Pama’s kitchen was one of the safest places in my childhood world; there, I knew I was loved and accepted. She made me feel special in a way no one else could. It was a place where there was always a card game to join–where laughter and spoons and stories bounced off the walls.
The aroma of freshly-baked dressing coming out of the oven can bring me back to that kitchen in an instant.
So it is with my Father’s world:
- The scent of the morning dew after a gentle rain reminds me that His mercies are new every morning.
- I see my native West Texas sky, filling the endless space from horizon to horizon, and remember that His faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds.
- The sound of little-girl voices singing “Silent Night” causes my heart to swell at the majesty of God.
- I feel the pat of Olivia’s tiny hand on my shoulder as I hold her close and know that my Father sees me right where I am.
- In fellowship found around a dinner table filled with family, I taste the goodness of the One who created Heaven and earth for His family.
He invites, and I feel safe. Cherished. Loved. Accepted. And more special than anyone else can make me feel.
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