Sunday we were privileged to have a visit from the family of the Indonesian girls who lived with us for two school years. I chased my kids and the rest out of the kitchen as I prepped: I can’t focus on interesting conversation, look people in the eye and cook. But when it was all done, we got to sit and eat together. W and I had debated on going out to eat, but the girls know the house and it was close to church, so we opted to bring them home with us.
The table in the dining room was one seat too small for our crowd of guests. Rather than split up the group, we pulled benches and chairs around the big table in the kitchen. Conversation flows more easily at our big round dining table for 11 rather than the long version for 12. But having our friends at the head of our table was a joy.
The counter was messy with prep, and it’s the first time in a while that I was working away practically on top of company, rather than tucked away from view. But it was so nice to feel like our circle was complete again with the girls and their parents joining us for a family meal. Kristi and Dae bee-lined for the bench where I was going to send the newlyweds. The girls are tiny and slim, and they used to be the only ones who fit on the bench together. I didn’t have the heart to move them to more comfy seating: they were cute as two birds on a perch and it brought back happy memories for me. Rather than popping in and out on the conversation, I was in the room to hear what they did for Christmas and updates about the grandma we’ve prayed for over the past two years.
I’m not sure our own kids already realize the privilege of having ‘family’ around the world – whether these dear Indonesians, Ivan or Sumathi from India, or relatives and friends in Europe, Brazil, Russia, Kenya, Malawi, Ethiopia and elsewhere… God’s work and his role as our heavenly Father bonds his Church and lets us stick our feet under the same table with an instant relationship as friends and spiritual relatives. For W and me, it was a high honor indeed to have sat and eaten on Sunday with these dear brothers and sisters.
*The living, the living—they praise you as I am doing today; fathers tell their children about your faithfulness. The LORD will save me, and we will sing with stringed instruments all the days of our lives in the temple of the LORD. Isaiah 38:19-20 NIV
*As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been [ill] begged to go with him. Jesus did not let him, but said, "Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you." So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed. Mark 5: 18-20 NIV
*In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering. Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. He says, "I will declare your name to my brothers; in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises." Hebrews 2:10-12 NIV