It has been a landmark weekend in our family. My 90yr old mother had planned , organized and delivered her own Birthday Celebration in the large garden of her Abbeyfield home in Beverley.
When Trevor and Johnny Wick had a celebratory lunch after Morning Service at St Oswalds in April it seemed no effort at all had gone into that delicious Buffet lunch. It arrived it seemed seamlessly onto tables in the West Room. There was no fuss or hint that real people had actually buttered bread for the sandwiches or trimmed the crudites. I found afterwards that our local Baker and Chocolatier had supplied the buffet food, and that the FAMILY had done the salads and extra bits, which I know meant arranging for tables to go up and napkins to be bought, drinks to be bought and served and arrangements made for disposing of any leftovers and the washing up.
With the memory of this successful occasion with a Family and a Church Family together we set out to facilitate my Aged Parent to do just the same .
She chose M and S to supply her party food. She and I spent hours perusing the catalogue. I tried to make suggestions as to the dietary habits of a generation of young people born after 1975. I tried to suggest to my mother that sushi and chicken kebabs and wraps were the food of a gym going , power walking , rough camping generation but she was not having any of that-sausage rolls, sandwiches and pork pies it was then, and no one minded. Great grandma managed to make a trifle that was positively pre-war in style and substance and it all went!
The success of the occasion was not the food, not the splendid ambience , not the new coloured tights and blue nail varnish, not the organization ,
but the actual interaction between all members of a small family trying to
- forget themselves ,
- forget their preferences ,
- put their past hurts( between each other) at the foot of the cross
- make sure others were served with all they needed
- be kind and welcoming to the children ,and not reprimand them for just being small children doing what small children do
- be considerate towards a House where others live
- to keep the door to their lips(thats my One!)
- honour ones parents
- be sensitive to the feelings of those who have not had happy marriages
- to take an interest in those with iphones you wish you had
The Sussex family of children and grandchildren has gone home now. Only my toothbrush stands in my bathroom .
The family is busy sending jpegs to Picasa, and eating up sausage rolls.
In this National Family Week
no amount of organizing , logos, and marketing will actually make families function as a caring and supportive unit. It only highlights the social importance of them.We have with the help of God to value our own families, where we can, and where it is functioning, and to remember as Johnny and Trevor did that those of us who belong to a Family Called the Christian Church ,have a Father who may not be compared(in My view) with even the best of Human Fathers.
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. 6 God sets the lonely in families,