They Are Still Here

Yes, they are still here.  The remainder of the peanut brittle.  A cheese ball.  Chocolates.  Leftover toffee from Waco friends.  They are all on a table at Me-me’s. 

They are still here.  A house with a number of suitcases open in various rooms.   Shaving kits in the bathrooms.  Cars parked outside.

They are still here.  It is the day after Christmas.  Aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews are still in town.   Yesterday, I sat at my mother-in-law’s kitchen table with my three-year-old niece and five-year-old nephew playing "The Winning Cheese."  Okay, I made up this game.  I hold both hands in front of me, fists closed.  They guess which hand the cheese cube is in.   When one guesses the correct hand, I cheer loudly and then they eat one of the winning cheese cubes on a plate.  (You say that sounds goofy?  Hey, they are just 3 and 5 years old!) 

They are still here.  ("Here" is Florence, Alabama.)  We lived in Alabama for almost eight years.  My wife was raised here.  Many friends still live here.  Today at noon, Doug and I were at Rick’s Barbecue (eating wonderful barbecue — pork of course, this being the south).  We were seated at a table in the middle of the restaurant.  Old friends began to come in for lunch.  Walter and Norma Patterson.  Colby Butler.  Marlon Miles.  We asked about one another’s spouses, children, and parents.  It was so good to see these people and to be reminded again that they are still here.

I am glad that some things, some people, and some realities are still here. 

In particular, I am glad that God is still God.  I am happy that his forever presence (the Holy Spirit) is within me.  I am grateful that Jesus loves me — with an incredible, lavishing love.

It is a good day!

(Just a reminder that posts over the next week or so may be sporadic as I am still out of town.  Hope you are having a wonderful Christmas!)

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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10 thoughts on “They Are Still Here

  1. Beautiful thoughts, Jim. And, thank God you are there, huh? As we (my wife and I along with all of our children and one daughter-in-law) gathered in the living room, my mother-in-law asked, "Do you know how special this is?" I think I’m only beginning to get it, but it’s starting to sink in. I’m glad they are still here. Travel safely!

  2. Jim, I have so many wonderful memories of your family in good ole Florence. We had a wonderful Christmas with all the kids & grandkids at home. I am glad they are still here too! Love to your family this holiday season. Sharon

  3. Happy New Year, Jim.We are glad that you are still here, too. There is no BBQ like that in the south. People in the north put ketchup on hamburger and call it BBQ. Yikes! 

  4. Glad you’re enjoying Christmas.  The lunch experience makes me think of what the next phase of our existance might be like as we enjoy community, bumping into countless souls who’ve trusted Jesus, too.  We’re only just beginning to begin!

  5. You could have written this entire blog without mentioning Rick’s BBQ. I ALWAYS find my way there when visiting Florence / Sheffield! Great BBQ. And I know some of the people you mentioned, so you’re making me just a little "home" sick … though I no longer think of N. AL as home.

  6. Bill,Thanks!  I like the words from your mother-in-law. I suspect that as time goes by, I will appreciate even more how special and significant these moments are. 

  7. John,Oh my…ketchup on a hamburger is BBQ?  Oh my… I may have to get one more BBQ sandwich before leaving the south after hearing that!:)