I felt I'd done my fair share of preparing him for the day; friends over for breakfast, Jack naps, we head over to Mom and Dad's to eat dinner, pick Leesha up, return to Mom and Dad's for dessert, home and the usual nighttime routine. Despite my efforts to prepare him for the day, I sensed he was just unhappy.
So, we ended up with a discussion of one another's shortcomings but in the end it came out; Thanksgiving just wasn't what it should have been. We should have been serving others instead of ourselves. This thanks to the Compassion by Command series we've been doing at our church, Woodland Hills. Greg Boyd has been preaching against societal norms for a while now, and it seems tonight that we've finally let a tiny bit of it sink in.
I'm not feeling an enormous amount of guilt over having turkey and trimmings or overeating. But I stand with my husband on this. We have been too self centered. Holidays seem more about duties, expectations, busy-ness and self.
Years ago, I made the decision to not buy any gifts for Leesha at Christmas. Instead, we went out and got toys for others. Family didn't understand, but they didn't have to. After we moved into our house, we decided we weren't doing gifts because we couldn't afford it, and figured family would rather us not go into debt on things they didn't need. This time, they understood and supported us.
So, how do we make this about what God would want us to do? Society not-so-subtly says; overeat and overspend in the name of celebrating. We've gotten a bit better with more charitable causes becoming available during the holidays. But I have to ask; is buying toys for children in need really what Christ would want? If the child is considered to be "in need", is it toys they need? Think about that word - need.
I don't think I ever expected to see myself say this with any measure of heartfelt honesty, but what they need is Jesus. Strange, coming from someone with parents and grandparents who served as overseas missionaries. Not that accepting salvation rights everything in peoples lives, but it's a foundational start.
I'm starting now. (that was very intentional typing)