Vol.XX No.X Pg.8
December 1983

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

Preacher dinner dates are nothing unusual, and other members of a family are often there to "have the old buzzard." But it became apparent this was something different — truly special, though not because of the food (which was great) nor because of this preacher (who was treated royally). My heart warmed at the sight of four young men, scattered about the kitchen, helping set the table while teasing their mother, taking verbal punches at one-another, and keeping the place in a general uproar.

One was himself a preacher, from a far part of the city; the others were in important secular businesses. All were married, and some had children, but only "the boys" were there — this was their day — and we felt honored to share the day with them. We soon learned that these young men "came home" once a week to reform the former family, circle, and have a meal with their parents. At other times the whole gang was there — in-laws and grandkids — but today they were the kids, with "mom and dad." That mother beamed as she served them, and dad's smile was a badge of excusable pride. Yes, God Blessed That Home! But this home didn't "just happen" to turn out that way, nor was it done without hardship and sacrifice. The father was a hard workingman who had known some very lean years. Construction work, border patrolman, even a session at mining, had moved his family across the southwest. Wherever he went he found or made a church, although he had not a "public talent" — a bit shy in fact. The mother was just that — a "mother" whose earthly love was her home and children. One boy was handicapped from birth with a crippling disease that twisted his body, made him a constant care, and still threatens his life. He is the preacher — working with braces and whatever the nice word is for guts. The other boys got their education with some of the same, for this was no pampered family. They worked, and shared, and cared, and loved.

I haven't tried to dig out details, and with my admiration for how things turned out I could very well have missed some less admirable traits. It would be foolish to assume otherwise. But those "sons-come- home" gave me hope for this jaded world, and proved a family can pray and stay together.