The Kitchen Table
This summer I sat at table with loved ones. Most of what rejuvenated and made me more whole in July and August was spending time around the table breaking bread (or chips and salsa) with friends and family. So simple, this feeding of body and soul.
The longer I am in ministry, the more I see that everything in life is dealt with around the kitchen table.
Cancer diagnoses. Sudden death. A child run away. Betrayal and infidelity discovered in some sordid manner. Suicide. Car accidents. Criminal convictions. Intervention and rehab. Abuse. Garden variety scandal. Devastating depression.
The pastor shows up at the house and we sit at table.
Someone, usually a kindly family member, sets out a bowl of blueberries, or plates of pie. Someone cries and quietly shreds a napkin as he or she talks. We stay at the table, there are long silences. We stir our tea. We breathe together. Whatever catastrophe has brought us together, the moment is manageable. The kitchen table is the ultimate safe zone. Whatever it is, life will go on. When we're around the table, we know it. Sometimes there is even weak laughter. Or, amazingly enough, even hearty laughter. The kitchen table can make that happen.
I am wearing a small cross around my neck right now. If they made little silver kitchen tables, I swear I'd switch.
(Painting by Julie Cobden)