A handful of the last of the basil from our garden tossed with some chicken and mushrooms, some cheese I call Money because it's worth so much, and we eat dinner around the dining room table. One might think all I write about is tables.
But if it was a small fruit feast that fell us into death and it will be a fine full feast that ushers us into life eternal, I suppose I can write about all the tables we'll sit around in the meantime.
My roommate Season is getting married in three days. In June she told me about her "summer crush," in September she said yes to the ring, and now she will stand beside him and marry him.
And so our table is gone.
The past few weeks things have gone missing from our home, small things, a rug, a chair, a vase. They go missing from our home because they now belong in her home. And our table, the one we've had for two years, the hand-me-down one from Ikea with the broken chair and the wobbly leg, it now sits in our garage awaiting its trip to her home too.
In its place sits a solid new table with three chairs and a bench. It's bigger than our old table. It doesn't fit in the breakfast nook. We've moved it three times since it arrived and now it's found its home—in the divide between the living room and the kitchen. Centered and topped with a tablecloth, a bowl of fruit, and two taper candles in brass candlesticks. It has found a home in our nearly fractured home.
I have done my mourning already. When all three roommates find love within three months time, one cannot help but get her mourning done quickly. I have let my sad sit deep and my jealousy weed out and my fears brought near and I have heard God say, I'm still setting a table for you if you want it.
We gather around our table, more so in times past than times now, but we are gatherers. We enjoy one another and I have feasted at this table, this table and the old one. I have feasted in this home and am not ignorant of the blessing it is to have feasted so fully.
On Thursday we will gather sixty and more in a lodge in the Ozarks, we will give thanks for our nation and our history and for family and for marriage and for my roommate and her almost husband. And then on Saturday we will feast again after the vows have been given and spirits are high.
And then we will come home, to the monotony of life and school and jobs and chores, and we will feast around our new table. We will feast on apples and carrot sticks and peanut butter and jelly, and we will feast on chamomile tea and coffee in the morning. We will feast with one less person in our family, and that's sad, but we know it's not the end.
It's just one more table of our meantime.
And people will come from east and west, and from north and south, and recline at the table in the kingdom of God. Luke 13:29