Missing The Kids’ Table

For the second year in a row, Ramona and I will not be hosting family for Thanksgiving. We have hosted her family and some of my family for most of the nearly 29 years we have been married. Last year, it was scheduling that kept us apart. This year, of course, it’s COVID-19. Like last year, we will have Thanksgiving with two dear friends. They will soon be moving to Florida, so we are blessed to have them join us Thursday. But the absence of family this Thanksgiving feels a lot different than last year.

Thanksgiving is often the holiday where you seen relatives you haven’t seen all year. In 2020, there are many, many people we haven’t seen, at least not in-person. Not having a full house this Thanksgiving serves as a reminder of what a year it’s been. It would be great to have a house filled with family laughing and catching up. It would somehow be salve on the wound that for many 2020 has been. But I was recently reminded of something else I miss. The kids’ table. And it was author Bob Goff that reminded me in a morning devotional.

When are kids were young, Ramona’s brother and sister also had young children. So for years, we had a half dozen young children at the kids’ table. I’m not sure I realized back then what a blessing that was. Goff put it this way:

“While we’re stressing out at the adult table about the weird relative or family dynamic, have you noticed there’s no tension over at the kid’s table where they’ve got paper cups for lemonade and plastic forks for mac and cheese? No one there wishes things were different, because cousins and apple pie are close by. Kids always bring an innocence to the party. They show us how to look past the mistakes people made this morning so we can have fun together this afternoon.”

Goff’s point is that the kids’ table is a reminder of how Jesus wants us to be. To become as innocent as little children, trusting in Him. Or we will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven. It is a good reminder of that. But reading that got me to thinking of how I squandered years of kids’ tables, not rejoicing in what they were experiencing.

And that got me to thinking of how great it would be to have a kids’ table this year. As family members gathered with the baggage of 2020: COVID, politics, racial strife, lost jobs, etc., imagine how wonderful the kids table would be.

If you are gathering with family for Thanksgiving ( I will not broach the debate over such gatherings here), and there is a kids’ table, rejoice in it. If kids’ tables are in your past, remember them fondly. And when the weight of 2020 becomes to much, remember what Bob Goff said: Jesus would sit at the kids’ table. And we should join Him there every day.

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