I lived in my last home for 38 years – and I delighted in my kitchen. It was a place to nurture friends and family – to feed body, soul and sometimes spirit – to create community. There’s something about sharing a meal that knits people together: our common humanity expressed in hunger, shared pleasure in food and setting, and proximity – our feet under the same table. All these serve to break down barriers and forge bonds. Lonelieness is epidemic in our culture, and community is the cure.
When I downsized four years ago I had to leave the buffet and china cabinet behind (ouch), but fortunately the table* – which can expand to fit six comfortably, eight snugly and ten intimately! – made the cut. That table has its own story (I love things with stories) – I acquired it in 1973 in a trade for my trusty little Volkswagon beetle – but that’s another story for another time.
Financial wealth had never been a value of mine – I recognized early that none of the important things could be bought with money, and wearing oneself out to attain it meant you had to be willing to sacrifice the really valuable things. But beauty comes close to being a necessity. Simple beauty – a line of poetry – a rose bud – a perfect omlette, a trusted friendship (which has sometimes, like the omlette, required breaking a few eggs). So, while not rich I have been grateful for what I have, and have never in any way felt less than both wealthy and privileged.
Net Worth I have wealth that others only dream of – a kitchen where nobility may dine. Warm red quarry tiles underscore the scene, a worn table nestles between corner windows where morning's gold pours in. The treasures on the shelf befit royalty; a feather, (He sees the little sparrow fall), a perfect, filigreed, Chinese Lantern, a thumbnail of emerald moss, half a robin’s egg - just because. Wildflowers on the table whisper, “Welcome.” Coffee is on. Won’t you stay? Yesterday a king came to tea.
And the fact is, He did. Regularly. In tears, in joy, in struggles, sorrow and laughter. I worked though many difficult issues at that table, fought many battles ( and surrendered – not always graciously but ultimately gratefully) – confronted many enemies and discovered many life-altering truths. I look at it now, scratched and scarred – the original French polish a distant memory – it’s a pretty good life metapor. The challenge continues – to make my heart a welcome home for the king.
I’ve just discovered and am loving this group, Sounds Like Reign.
*Incredibly, Jesus says to the church in Laodicea, in Revelation 3:20, that He stands at the door and knocks, and if they open it, He will come in and dine with them. Imagine the conversations around that table!