I dream of a long, long table

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I’ve mentioned before my hospitality burnout in France. We entertained several days a week, inviting many, many people over for dinner. It’s taken me three years back in the states to finally welcome guests around our table. This weekend, our dear friends the Mills family, came over. We gathered around our dining table, ate Mediterranean pasta, salad with artichokes, and homemade focaccia crafted by Renee (It was to die for).

We talked and bantered around the table, then went outside into the steamy Texas night. Both families wanted to create havens in our back yards, and neither could afford to do what we’d like to do. We’d like an arbor, a larger cement slab, a pizza oven, some grapevines growing over the arbor. But mostly we want a really long wooden table. It’s a part of me that wants to recapture so many dinners we had outside in Southern France. A return to the romance of that.

It’s a sign of recovery, a symbol of new life, new hope, new relationships, new expectations. That long, chunky, welcoming table is a symbol of what we want our home to be–a gathering place for folks, a haven from the rat race. That’s been our heart since we married, celebrating the sacredness of the family dinner table every single night. So now we want to move it all outside, under God’s canopy of stars, while cicadas sing their iconic song and lightning bugs make rare appearances. We can eat and grill while we smell the overturned earth, play fetch with the dog, bow over the garden admiring the new melons.

That’s my dream someday. I trust that God will bring me a table and some cement and a pizza oven and an arbor in His timing. But more than that, I know He’ll gather the people together who will grace that table with their presence. Amen.

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