Thursday, October 30, 2014

Another table

This past week, I hosted a party for my dad’s eighty-sixth birthday.

The only thing was, he didn't come.

His place remained empty.

We knew this day was approaching, that his health issues would curtail travel. We just hoped we could squeeze out one more trip. All things were go even on Saturday night, but on Sunday, the phone rang early.

“Up all night. Don’t feel well. Don’t know what this is.”

“We’ll come there, Dad.”

“No, we’ll do it another time.”

So, today’s another time. We’re heading north with party favors and a frozen cake from Sunday, which I hope thaws by noon. The grandkids won’t be there, because they’re all working or in school, but we carry their warm wishes, and a few of us will gather and give thanks for this patriarch.

We’ll relish the precious moments together, remember the  birthday last year when we were all around the table, and pray for more time. Even when you’ve had them so many years, you still pray for more time.

All of our days are diminishing. The thing that helps is the knowledge that there’s another table. In another place. And that one by one we’ll gather around it, and there will be all the time in this world or any other to celebrate and rejoice.

So, through the bittersweet tears, we’re holding on to today, and by faith, thanking God for a beautiful tomorrow.

Happy Birthday, Dad!

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him . . .” (I Corinthians 2:9 ESV)

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