What is the first picture that pops into your mind when you think about the word "table"?
Grandma's table was formica rectangle with six metal chairs. It was definitely the gathering place in her home. Starting early in the morning over her cup of instant coffee (gasp) we would begin to visit. Because we were only together twice a year I made the most of all our time. The rest of the house would be quiet and she would make some toast. (The smell of toast still brings tears to my eyes.) Others would eventually wake, neighbors and family would come. Everyone came to the kitchen table. Even though she wasn’t the best cook in the world, she made me feel so special at her table.
The small round wooden table at the Aunt's house also comes to mind. Even as small as the table was, there was always room for one more. Aunt Wade and Aunt Helen were amazing cooks. Their leftovers seemed like a meal fit for a king. There was never a time when they didn’t have something delicious to serve. They made it a point to find those who rarely got invited to dinners and had them over. Everyone felt special around their table.
Mom's Queen Anne oval table was the most versatile table ever. Missy and I literally moved it all around the house. Mom might use it for our family meals or throw in the leaf and put tons of people around it. We didn’t get in a hurry. Our culture was visiting around the table and we nurtured it. Mom still makes people feel welcomed and a part of our family around that table.
My Mother-in-love’s table is gigantic. A few years ago Pop built her a table that seats one billion people. She is never happier than when it is full of people. She has a gift for making things look beautiful. Even on family meal night it is not uncommon for there to be a gorgeous centerpiece that she has created. She adds beauty to a world that is growing all to accustomed to bland and ugly. Her table not only is filled with delicious food to eat but it is also a feast for the eyes.
A tiny two seater table that belonged to an elderly woman I knew as a child holds a special place in my heart. She had me and her granddaughter to lunch one day. I was very young and I can remember that lunch like it was yesterday. The meal was simple--apples and cheese. It was beautiful. I cannot remember the plate but I still remember how she placed the food on it. Maybe that food is all she had or maybe she bought it just for us. That lunch was one of the best lunches I had ever had. I felt so loved at that table that day.
Tables convey community. People invited to sit at your table feel special.
College students a long way from home often reminisce about how much they miss their tables at home and how much they love home cooked meals.
Elderly widows' eyes feel with tears as they relish the sound of families and recall years past. (They also may enjoy their quiet homes a little bit more when it is time to go home.)
People who have never sat at a table (unfortunately there are many) soak in the tangible love like a dry sponge does water.
Here are some commonalities. To have someone to eat takes a little bit of time and at least a small amount of preparation. But...It does not have to be hard.
People can bless people and feed them-but in a lot of different ways. It might be pizza from a box or a huge feast. The food is not always the blessing.
Wether you can cook or not does not matter in the least. This article can help.
A space can be anything from the largest table to a blanket in the park...making a space for people is the goal.
You could brew coffee or serve instant (Really? Did I say that?) But the truth is a glass of water will suffice.
Who could you make a place for this week? The table and the food are truly irrelevant. Make a space for people to be heard. God could really use you to encourage them! You could be a game changer just by making a space for another person!
Your table is a gift just waiting to be offered.