home for the holidays

Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young— a place near your altar, LORD Almighty, my King and my God.
Psalm 84:3

First, let me say, we had a wonderful Christmas. All our kids and grand kids were here, in and out over a dozen days.

That includes Tabby, 5, Timothy, 3, and Sarina and Andrew, both 1. They are sweet, well-behaved, wonderful kids. And I’m talking about their parents too.

To return home, of course, is an ideal even the sparrows crave. It signifies safety and blessing. But as it turns out, it’s not a made-for-TV movie.

In our case it was a virtual sick ward. Almost everybody came down with the flu, some of us twice. And sweet well-behaved kids can be fussy, it turns out. Parent too. Even grandparents.

For my part, I had two kinds of flu and on one of my good days got slammed by an anonymous kid on a tube sledding at Ella Sharp Park. You can see the video, sort of, here. (Tabby sure is cute walking up a hill.)

The video is not a made-for-TV movie either, since it lacks dramatic tension. As did our entire week. No sappy melodrama. And no dysfunctional family. No climax, with secrets revealed, no redemption, or even problems resolved. Just sick people home for the holidays.

We managed to stay civil and have fun. We ate good food, even though it was relatively tasteless. We laughed at bad puns and played board games late at night. We were everything a family was meant to be, with a fever.

It may have been one of our most memorable Christmases yet.

Because home is never what we imagine. Or expect.

But near the Lord’s altar, it’s better.

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About wally metts

Wally Metts is the daysman. He is director of graduate studies in communication at Spring Arbor University and is a pastor at Countryside Bible Church in Jonesville, MI. The father of four adult children, he and his wife Katie raise barn cats and Christmas trees in Michigan. His grandchildren call him Santa.

5 Responses to “home for the holidays”

  1. Oh Dr. Metts,

    I can so relate! Even though our holidays were split between our home and our grandson’s place, illness was an unwelcome and pervasive visitor everywhere. We just had to “roll with it” as the kids say. Seasonal goodies and comfort food worked better than cold remedies to keep our spirits up . . . as did simply sharing each other’s presence.

    Thanks for another sweet commentary . . . always from the heart
    Lindaaaaa . . . CHOO!! 🙂

  2. Yes. Life, as is, in the present. I hope by now all of you feel better. Your post will evoke a memory for a long time. I love the eyes of all of your beautiful grandchildren.

    Barb

  3. Karina and I were talking a bit about how this visit felt very different from any previous. However, as you say, the trip “signifies safety and blessing.” Even when things aren’t as lively as usual, it’s still home. That’s enough.

  4. Jennifer Jennings Reply January 4, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    Smiling….thanks for saying this “out loud.” I spent years trying to make Christmases “feel” like I thought they were supposed to “feel.” We buy into such crap, don’t we? Even when we think we’re not! A lot like our ideal of life as well, huh? I wonder why it takes a lifetime to figure out that life is just what it is…just about the time we start to “get” it – we’re approaching the finish line! Hi and love to Katie.

  5. Thanks for watching my kids while I rested. It was a great place to be sick. Really.

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