"Welcome to my blog space. I believe that God has carefully placed gems in our paths to fill our days with joy. The challenge for us is to take the time to notice them. My desire is to share the gems in my life so that, hopefully, you will see the ones He's placed in yours. I hope what you read here will be worth your time and you'll want to return often." - Cathy

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Stranger at the Table


We almost always had a stranger at our

Thanksgiving table. Like folks who take

in stray animals, my mother took in stray

people. With Daddy being in the Army,

we had celebrations in California, Japan,

Germany, and Georgia. Momma always

found at least one person who would be

alone on the holiday and invited them to join us. We didn’t have

many resources during those years, but what we had, we shared.

            Our visitors had a story to tell and Momma encouraged them to talk as we ate. They told about life where they were from, how he/she ended up in the Army, their aspirations for the future, their family traditions and what they would be doing if they were home. We children didn’t realize until much later in life that not everyone invites people they don’t know to Thanksgiving.

            That experience is probably the one that fostered my interest in people. My children think I am cursed with a magnetism which pulls at strangers who then seem compelled to talk to me. I see it as a blessing, maybe even a calling. I’ve learned over the years that there are lonely people everywhere who don’t have anyone who will listen to them.

            I usually encounter them while waiting in line somewhere. They are in front of me or behind me in line. We talk while we wait. Occasionally, someone will approach me in a store, out of the blue, like one woman did in the fabric department in Wal-Mart. She asked me to pray for her. I asked if there was a specific need and her story spilled out as though it had been bottled up for so long it had fermented and the container couldn’t hold it any longer. We did pray, right there in the fabrics and crafts, as two humans connected for a few brief moments.

            This poem, by Emily Dickenson, has been a favorite of mine for many years. I cross-stitched it and have it framed and hanging in my bedroom to remind me that it’s the little things we do along life’s pathway that hold the most meaning.           

If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain.
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
         I shall not live in vain.             

            What Thanksgiving tradition has shaped you into the person you are today? I’d love to hear your story.

Going out with joy and open ears today-



  1. This is what makes Thanksgiving so special. Mom always had an extra setting at our table as well and always someone to fill it. It becomes strange if there isn't someone extra to sit with us. Empty almost, even if everyone from our family is there, it is not the same without an addition, from some lonely place, that we can share with. Mr Wally, I remember specifically from my childhood. He was an older gentleman from the nursing home. He didn't say much but the tears that rolled down his cheeks spoke of gratefulness sitting at our dining room table.. He gave to us that year. He gave a lesson on what thankfulness looks like. My hearts desire is to give that much back and more. God is do good to us. Thank you for bringing me back to a memory I treasured. Happy Thanksgiving Cathy, to a friend who gives her heart.

    1. You have blessed me with your kind words, Mary. I'm glad I could help you recall that good memory. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

  2. I love that Jesus shines brightly in you, Cathy. Happy Thanksgiving! Nan

    1. I feel the same way about you, Dear Nan! I'm praying God will bless you out of His great abundance.