An abstraction on a Table: A prompt by Amber Haines….
Beautiful wood that is so old, it’s called antique, which sounds such fragile a word. Of course, its purpose was a place to serve meals, but to a kid, it can be a fort, a castle, or the carpet underneath a forest floor, legs rising tall as trees. All of us grandchildren used to play under its delicately routed and carved legs and underbelly.
It cast such dark shadows that hid me and no one could find me. Underneath there, I was a queen or a damsel in distress, tracing the curved lines and crevices in hopes of escape from my soft-carpeted prison.
From underneath my hiding place, I could spot, just dimly lit in soft, heavy-curtained afternoon light up on the buffet table, the old iridescent blue set of bowls, one holding old-fashioned candies of all flavors. Absolutely fascinating and irresistible to a child. It was my sole mission to play underneath the table long enough so that my Granny wouldn’t notice when I snuck quickly out, tip-toed to the blue bowl to grab a candy.
All of the precious memories of Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, and Sunday dinners were made here.
The best memories were the Sundays when Granny had Chicken and Dumplins or blackberry cobbler waiting on me, my favorites.
Years and years later, after this little girl had grown up, the table became a sort of gift from my grandparents, who had no place to put it in their new apartment.
They had given up their home to a son, and it was eventually sold, a sad time for us all as the memories went with it.
Now the table sits in my high-ceilinged home, not on carpet, but on old, brightly polished pine floors. It’s a deep mahogany and makes the mood dark. It needs a fresh coat of white paint, slapped on heavy and thick with love, which would make the whole room lovely.
Then some of those grooves, crevices, the caving-in places I tried to escape as a child will fade into the background, and the past will be the past.
But then I worry about change–it’s been the way it is for so long. My heart stops a bit to think of the eternal consequence of marring such a priceless item with paint.
Now, where it sits, it’s a place of gathering, it seems to magnetically draw us all together.
No matter the chaos going on around the home– paper cut-outs being thrown awry, sisters chasing one another–screaming, me fussing at a daughter to just finish the sweeping already, and oh my aching head–when we all sit down at the table, candles lit, and we slide into our familiar places, something just feels right and it’s home.
It feels familiar and yet uncomfortable as children begin to bang, and to argue and to wail, to complain about the food.
High-pitched yelling and wailing is like nails on the chalkboard of my nerves. The banging and the water glass knocking over is more than I can handle. I shift in my seat, look for a way out, want to escape.
But here, in this familiar safe place, we all do the necessary thing. We gather. We are community. Every day, no matter what. We need the safe rhythm, the consistency.
Husband prays for us to love one another better as we hold hands, and this convicts me.
And these, these children and this husband around my table, they are my people, my church.
We are the body broken, and we worship with quieted spirits that want to bolt, and we do the hard work of staying.
We raise glasses to mouths and swallow down water and offer words of love where there has been grating of nerves and this is our true worship.
Linking up with Amber
Also linking up with The Nester, and all the other 31-Dayers.…This ought to be one wild, brave ride…
Do you struggle with fear of change, or fear of the everyday change, the always fluid problems that come our way, like wailing and arguing at the supper table? Please tell me your story? Have you seen God redeem these anxieties? Have you found grace? Your comments so encourage me. I draw strength from your kind words and knowing you were here. My faith walk is seasoned with the right ingredients when you hang around…
This is one post in a series of 31 days of Fear. You can find the entire 31 Day collective here.
I hope you will come with me on this journey–to get a taste of glorious redemption as I soul-search and look for Jesus smack-dab in the middle of my fears. And Jesus sits with sinners. I won’t have to look very far.
I pray God gives me the strength and the courage to complete 31 days–y’all, it’s going to be hard on this ‘ol gal to write every.single.day. Pray for me?
Some other 31 Day collectives I’m loving: Shelly @ Redemptions Beauty, Amber Haines , and Lisa-Jo