October 28, 2007
It was homecoming today – not the football game kind of homecoming with a parade and floats and the smiling queen with the bouquet of roses. This was homecoming at church, my brother’s church. It is a small country church, out in the middle of nowhere. The members all know each other by name and genealogy, have probably visited in each other’s homes, go sit in the hospital when one of them is having surgery, and lend a hand or send money when there is trouble. Homecoming means special music, fall flowers, and dinner in the fellowship hall after worship. Tables were piled with food: fried chicken, pimento cheese sandwiches, collards and potato salad, devilled eggs, hush puppies and biscuits and ham and barbecue. And a whole separate table just for dessert with cakes and pies, cupcakes, banana pudding and peach cobbler. There was sweet tea in big red cups, and it was good. Everybody was talking and laughing and taking pictures. The little boys were running around, the teenaged girls were patting their hair, and the teenaged boys were watching the teenage girls. And the rest of us were catching up with each other, smiling at the children, and eating. There was everything in abundance in that small church – love, food, family, enjoyment, joy. Other churches may have gathered today with bigger choirs or fancier buildings or more powerful preaching, but none with a purer spirit of fellowship than where I was.