We did something very different than the “normal” meal with family (the American kind of normal where you get together with as much family as possible in the area and eat and eat and eat…then watch football). Rick and I have always tried to add purpose to our Thanksgiving and usually this has meant more than just family at our table. Bringing lonely guests to our table has always brought a level of excitement and awareness to our Thanksgiving meal. I love the fresh conversation that guests bring to a familiar gathering. But this year we defied the “norm” and took the family to a coffee shop that was serving Thanksgiving dinner to the homeless of our city. We only considered this because our children are 6 and 8 now, and able to be somewhat helpful…as long as we repeatedly reminded them that their part in serving was important no matter how small. We went because we love the owner of the coffee shop and wanted to support her. We went because we wanted our kids to rub shoulders with real people, real poverty, and real serving. Although I’m thankful that some of the homeless got a meal that day, the biggest impact was the visual imprint on my kids’ minds — they saw the hands and feet of Jesus at work. It felt like we only put a bandaid on the deep wound of homelessness, but God can use these images that are now etched in our family’s memory.