The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. Mark Twain
As I settle into my new space, I take stock of my stuff and realize that since the beginning of my adult life the treasured piece of furniture for me is the table. With the multiple moves and sales of household stuff when the table leaves I grieve. Eat memories are where some of my best connections happen – the table and the power of food open my heart in a different way.
One Easter, I felt a nudge to celebrate the Resurrection with my leadership team at Redemption Church, Vancouver. Leaders are often neglected because, well, we've got it all together that's why we are leaders. WELL NO, not so - usually we are the ones exhausted, tired and in need of some TLC, like an invite for dinner. In Vancouver you could count on most of our church leaders living in a small space so sitting down with a large crowd often happens in a restaurant. I had an 1150 sq. ft. town house in Mt Pleasant and the largest room was the dining room with an open kitchen and lower level living room that opened on to the patio so guests could eat formally or in a more casually setting.
This particular Sunday, after two long services 20 hungry guests poured in. As I pulled more dishes from the oven with the help of my BB who thought I was overdoing the event, I made a mental note to add this to my list of eat memories.
The table provides the platform that allows us to carry on with our relationships in the best and the worst of times. Our life challenges and changes were not openly shared, nor the pain, but only the simple pleasure of being together was the balm of Gilead for this day.
Secondly, place plays an important role in our lives. While the mountains and the accessible waters of the ocean are Vancouver's draw, the reality was, we were struggling with as local author Timothy Taylor describes it:
Vancouver has what you might call an 'improvisational air.' The city makes itself up as it goes along. What’s fresh about this place, a kind of cultural and economic tabula rasa has provided for some highly unstable outcomes.
Lastly, around the table I could see a group of leaders struggling to accept that we were growing older, or maybe just growing up, and had to face some of those life facts that we may have been avoiding as in our busyness we all tend to do.