A few years ago, my husband asked me if we could invite someone he worked with to our home for Thanksgiving dinner. The coworker recently went through a painful divorce and had just moved to our state. This was the first Thanksgiving he and his son would celebrate alone, away from home. They had planned to go to a local restaurant to eat and my husband didn't like the thought of that.
I immediately said yes, but I must confess that I thought it might be a bit awkward—his son was a teenager and our two children were younger. However, I knew that God wanted it to happen. It was not up to me to know the "how"; I just needed to open up my home and family to these precious souls and simply be obedient.
On Thanksgiving Day this hurting man and precious teenage boy arrived at our home visibly cautious, but extremely gracious. I specifically remember my husband giving the blessing and thanking God for our special guests. As I opened my eyes, I could see tears in that dear father's eyes. At the time he was struggling with his faith because of the disappointments and changes in his life.
That day the six of us, in a seemingly unlikely gathering, had a wonderful time of fellowship. The conversation was lively and encouraging, we enjoyed a traditional Thanksgiving meal, and we even played a fun game of basketball in the driveway.
The man later told my husband that dinner was a turning point for him, as he saw the love of the Lord in our home. He was filled with hope for the future as he saw our family interacting with each other and with him and his son. He knew he had to get back in church and renew his relationship with the Lord.
This was a few years ago, but recently my husband spoke to this man. He is now happily remarried and living a life in relationship with the Lord. He expressed to Bill once again how that simple Thanksgiving meal in our home was a turning point for him and allowed him to realize that God was pursuing him.
I wonder how many people don't open their home to others for fear it would be awkward. You don't have to travel overseas to be a missionary—ask God who you could reach out to this Thanksgiving and add that leaf to the dining room table.
Copyright © 2007 by Tracey Eyster. All rights reserved.