This morning, I sat and played with my son for half an hour before leaving for the office. Today is speech therapy day for him. We have been working on having him stick out his tongue and pucker up for kisses to help his mouth and tongue muscles get stronger.
As I was leaving this morning, he climbed into my arms. Usually I get hugs and snuggles, and I kiss his cheeks all over. But this morning, I was given a special treat: several slobbery puckered kisses right on the lips. He was giggling and slobbering all over me as he kissed me. What a gift from God.
As I drove in, I thought about how universal humans are in so many ways. I thought about the folks that come to the Kanal Kitchen every month. Folks from the church family, my husband included, drive each month to Elkton and pick up folks for the meal. Many are homeless. God has provided a boat ride for them- many had never been on a boat. They were delighted. Folks who are homeless have children and hopes and fears and dreams like I do. We have not had any incidents of theft or anything of that nature since the Kanal Kitchen began more than 2 years ago. The folks at Kanal Kitchen enjoy my 2 year old son and four year old daughter as much as I do. They wave to them, engage them in kid level conversation, and (I hope) feel the love of God throughout our time together.
Folks come to the Kanal Kitchen from all sorts of circumstances, ranging from living in the woods, to families with kids who know we serve great desserts, to folks who live alone and are grateful for the community to share a meal. It's like a big party. Our church family is encouraged to just come and eat as a way of sharing hospitality.
The image of God's Kingdom in Scripture is often charachterized as a big party, a feast, a banquet. I imagine it involves wet, slobbery, baby kisses too... otherwise, it's not a feast to me. God's Kingdom is also said to be already here, and not yet fully here.
I am always grateful for glimpses of the Kingdom- in my children, in the Kanal Kitchen, in the face of a person we gave a ride to in Elkton this week becuase she was carrying a 3 week old baby in one arm and bags of groceries in the other. God is all around, if only I pay attention.