For the last couple of months, our Pastor Ken and his wife Kit have been on an overdue, much-deserved and needed Sabbatical. They did not go far, only to Alki. It was just a time to get away and reflect and redirect their ministry back into line with what God's priorities are for them. I hope it is very restorative and refreshing.
One of the things that Kit mentioned that she would find encouraging was the hope that someone would draw their son Jay into mealtimes during their absence. This seemed just in line with the very things that we would want to do. Jay is a far quieter sort than we are. When a person is quiet, I tend to be mystified by them, intrigued to know what they are quietly thinking. I respect the person of fewer words; I can't imitate their quiet nature at length, because I become downcast if I am quiet too long. The Bible has great things to say about the quiet person, and not so great about the person of many words. I guess this should incline the talkative person to be careful in their choice of words, and as time goes on, I am improving in this, but I have a long way to go.
Anyway, Jay has been coming over here most Sundays. A couple of times we have had another person too, but most of the time it has just been him. It has been great to get to know him, to see him become more relaxed around us. I think he has become a bit readier to speak around us, to know what to say. We have all come to really enjoy his visits more every time.
Jay never declines to play games when he comes to visit. (For some reason this has surprised me; I'm not one to think of playing games, but we've done it more consistently when he's here than any time previous.) We've played Mexican train dominoes, Scattergories, Nerts and Dutch Blitz. Maybe some other games too, but I don't remember. It seems that games bring out the competitor in me, to my shame. I get pretty intense during the games; Katie does, too, making all sorts of snide sideways comments in my direction (I never make any in hers, do I?) and making all sorts of funny noises as she looks for an available outlet toward a winning hand. Jay quietly works at his game and just observes us with patient interest as we compete and ever more patience as we laugh hysterically, uncontrollably, if we win. (He says his father suffers that same tendency. Our pastor? Shocking!)
And we learn wonderful little things about the history of the church we're attending, about their family, about life in Granite Falls. Jay learns funny little things about our family, like how Tim looks like a little bear in his fleece pajamas, and how readily our meats go up in flames on the barbecue or our rice goes up in smoke on the stove, or our defenses flare during game time, or my Erma Bombeck style of housekeeping. We learn how patient he is with all our faults, how easygoing and kind; he learns how passionate we are about every little thing.
Though it appears we are opposites, I think we are getting along well together. I hope this pattern of visits will become a regular aspect of our lives, that there is no reason for it to stop just because his family will be back together. Pretty neat how a quiet single guy and a crazy family can come together in friendship and faith and fun, and it all works out for good. God has blessed this time of fellowship! And we are glad.