Let’s Gather ‘Round the Table
Each year at this time, our loved ones come together to rejoice in our blessings and relish in bountiful feasts of mashed potatoes and gravy, buttery rolls, dressing, and cranberry sauce along with other foods that follow family tradition. A golden, oversized turkey rests strategically at Dad’s end of the table. The scene is reminiscent of the famous Thanksgiving painting by Norman Rockwell. It represents our version of American tradition, and we love it.
I’ll never forget the time my friend Dan joined us for Thanksgiving. One week earlier he had mentioned that he wasn’t going to make it to Idaho to be with his family, so I invited him to our celebration. I must admit that I was a little reluctant, given the fact that Dan didn’t know any of my family members and I wasn’t sure how it was all going to play out. But as you might have guessed, Dan’s presence turned out to be a blessing for him and for my family.
That afternoon when it came time to pass our traditional basket around the table and express gratitude for our blessings, Dan was especially touched. Tears welled in his eyes as he conveyed how much it meant to him to share Thanksgiving with us. He expressed gratitude to the Lord and to us for allowing him to be part of such a meaningful day. Dan’s tearful response came as a surprise to me because I had no idea he had a tender spirit.
Since that day my friend has relocated to Idaho. He and I keep in touch, and when Thanksgiving rolls around, he often reflects on the time he spent with us. I’m glad my family and I could give Dan that special memory. It’s a healthy reminder about how small acts of love can make a big difference in someone’s life.
(excerpt from Welcome To Our Table)
Shirley & Danae Dobson: As the wife of Focus on the Family founder, Dr. James Dobson, Shirley has devoted her life to the ministry and embraced many opportunities to entertain guests. From dignitaries to backdoor neighbors to the family, Shirley has opened her heart and spread the table for all. Danae, James and Shirley’s daughter, remembers the gatherings and lovingly recalls what her mother taught her about being kind and extending hospitality. Now mother and daughter have gathered the stories of those celebrations and get-togethers to inspire others.