God’s grace and peace to you this day.
We shared a meal with a family who had lost a loved one this week. It was a lot of work but it was also a work of service and love. Many who prepared the food were not there as the family gathered to share the meal but their love and their presence was acknowledged and appreciated by the family anyway,
As we sat together, ate and remembered, it made me think of this recent email I had received written by Henri Nouwen. Sharing meals is a blessing — whether it is a time of remembering a birthday or a death; celebrating achievements or just gathering as friends and/or family. It doesn’t matter if the meal is extensive or simple — it is the importance of sharing ourselves with one another that makes it all so very special.
“The table is one of the most intimate places in our lives. It is there that we give ourselves to one another. When we say, “Take some more, let me serve you another plate, let me pour you another glass, don’t be shy, enjoy it,” we say a lot more than our words express. We invite our friends to become part of our lives. We want them to be nurtured by the same food and drink that nurture us. We desire communion. That is why a refusal to eat and drink what a host offers is so offensive. It feels like a rejection of an invitation to intimacy.
Strange as it may sound, the table is the place where we want to become food for one another. Every breakfast, lunch, or dinner can become a time of growing communion with one another.” Henri Nouwen