People sometimes ask me how I came up with a character like Elmer Grigsby in my novel Thirty Days to Glory. In my obviously perfect, Hallmark-movie life, how did I dream up a WWII vet who survives on cheap booze and canned meat? Whose only companion is his cat. Who lives in a garage, for goodness sake. Well, Dear Reader, I know people.

I am people.

If you pull away the soft lighting, the well-staged Thanksgiving table, the nice music in the background, we are all empty, broken, hopeless, people. But the Norman Rockwell painting is not a lie.

It is a promise.

If your Thanksgiving table doesn’t match the picture this year, please don’t despair. Your family may be fractured. Your budget may be more hotdogs than turkey. You may not even have a table to gather around. But I know the One who promises to make all things new.

It might not be today. Or even tomorrow. But someday. Someday. We will all gather at a banquet greater than any of us could ever imagine. If we put our hope in Jesus today, He will save us a place at that table, and we’ll be surrounded by a multitude of people we love.

Norman Rockwell couldn’t do justice to that one, because nobody could paint that Light.

In the meantime, I hope you’ll find your place at a smaller table here in earth time. They are probably scattered somewhere in your neighborhood among people we call The Church. Come, pull up a chair.