January 5, 2021

Chimmy, Sally, and Patrick

Chimmy Lee at the Welcome Table

Each year, there was the obligatory family photo shoot for our church directory in South Carolina. One for the directory, one free photo—and then the big sales push by Olan Mills to sell you an expensive photo portfolio. Stiff poses, forced smiles, bad hair— not exactly what you had in mind.

After my daughter Heather left for college, our family photo was just going to be my son Patrick and me. Then one day I got a surprising request. 

Chimmy was from Taiwan and his parents sent him to live with his uncle and family for middle and high school. They lived near us and Chimmy became good friends with my son—at school and then as part of our church youth group.  He was in and out of our home often—just hanging out, roughhousing, eating meals.  

“Could I be in your family photo for the church directory this year?” Chimmy wanted to know.  Of course! He didn’t have to have a photo alone—and we were the richer for having him with us. We proudly posted the photo on our refrigerator door—which Chimmy often opened to get a snack as he made himself at home in our home and hearts. 

Welcoming others into our family photos is a great blessing. Over the years I have delighted in hosting people from China, Taiwan, Brazil, Reunion Island, Turkey, Spain, Great Britain, Germany, Korea, Rwanda and Honduras around my table. 

I’m Gonna Sit at the Welcome Table

All God’s children going to sit together
All God’s children going to sit together
One of these days, hallelujah
All God’s children going to sit together
God’s children gonna sit together one of these days…

I’m going to sit at the Welcome Table
I’m going to sit at the Welcome Table
One of these days, hallelujah
I’m going to sit at the Welcome Table
Sit at the Welcome Table one of these days.

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