Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Build A Longer Table. Not A Higher Fence.

Since 2013, Lisa and I have opened our doors on Thanksgiving and Christmas to those who have no place to go or have fallen on hard times. A couple of weeks before those 2 holidays, I post our open invitation on my personal Facebook page. Each time, quite a few people come forth and reply with kind words and blessings. We appreciate the replies. However, what most people don't know is that our open invitation stems from something I experienced when I was 18.

I was that person who had no place to go for the Holidays and I was broke.

I was living on my own. Working full-time. Going to school. Life wasn't easy, but I managed.

By the time Christmas Eve rolled around, I did not receive a single invitation to join anyone for festivities or dinner.

I had a strict grocery budget and it did not include all the fixings for a Christmas dinner.

That year, we had snow on the ground.

I remember sitting on the front steps shortly after dark on Christmas Eve and Christmas day.

The neighborhood I lived in was nice. Lots of small houses.

We had snow flurries on both evenings.

I sat there looking at all of the decorated houses.

Lots of cars had already parked in front of the houses. Others showed up later. People got out of the cars with their arms full of gifts and covered dishes.

I could hear people laughing.

What I remember the most is how I felt.

Completely alone.

Very sad.

I had a sinking feeling in my stomach.

It's difficult to put into words how I felt.

I cried.

Every time one of the neighbor's doors opened, I thought maybe someone had seen me and was going to come over and invite me to join their festivities.

That didn't happen.

I remember that feeling as if it happened yesterday.

That's why we open our door, make enough food for an army, and set extra places at our table.

And, we will continue doing that.

No comments:

Post a Comment