Feasting with Strife

Proverbs 17:1

“Better a dry crust with peace and quiet
than a house full of feasting, with strife.”

I have always loved Proverbs 17:1 as a theme verse for Thanksgiving Day! I shared this with a staff member yesterday and we both laughed out loud. I have an image in my mind of the writer taking the left-over heel from the loaf of bread that was used for the stuffing and climbing up the exterior staircase to the roof of the house to eat it alone in peace and quiet. Houses in Israel often had roof accesses so that people could sit up there in the cool of the evening after the sun set. You may recall the story of the four friends who carried their paralytic friend up to the roof in order to lower him down in front of Jesus, who was sitting inside the crowded house. That story helps us appreciate the importance of an exterior staircase. It provided the writer of Proverbs 17 a quiet escape from his bickering family below.

This passage is a reminder to us that when families gather, feasting with peace and quiet (not strife!) is the goal.

It is a reminder to keep politics, past grievances, and old grudges off the table, and look around you and be grateful for what you have.

Last night I looked out a third-floor window of my house and saw the beautiful reflection of the moon on the canal, making a silver path across the water. I remembered times when my mother and I would be talking on the phone and describing to each other the reflection of the moon from our windows: me in Colington, her in Manteo. Mom passed away in 2014 so she looks at the moon from a different perspective now. I am sorely missing her, my dad, and my incredible mother-in-law this Thanksgiving.

If you have family around you for Thanksgiving, cherish them. If bickering begins to break out, take your dry crust and quietly walk away for a minute. And if you don’t have them with you tomorrow, call them!

Life is too short for family strife.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Quiet Reflections by Michelle Robertson

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