"When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became an [adult], I put childish ways behind me."
~ I Corinthians 13:11
One of the memories that I often ask people to share are holidays. As we grow older, we often forget many things, but generally when I ask about a specific holiday the person remembers and there is often a response. Especially Thanksgiving or Christmas memories, and they are often associated with a meal.
When I graduated from high school, my great grandmother gave me a set of China that she had received as a gift when she and my great grandfather were married. The set was not complete, as pieces had either been lost or broken over the years, but what she did have, meant so much to me. I remembered several holidays at her home when the "good China" was brought out and used. Usually at a holidays such as Thanksgiving or Christmas.
Any time that I have a chance, I use these dishes. They remind me of my great grandmother, and the love and hospitality that existed in her home. They also remind me of times when people who were different from one another, found a place to resolve any differences and simply coexist peacefully and enjoy the time together.
Some time after I received them as a gift, I was at an antique mall in Southern Indiana and found almost a complete set of the same pattern. It was a treasure find! I bought the pieces and now when family and friends come over, I use the set in hopes that these precious pieces from my childhood can somehow become instruments of peace as they were at my grandmother's and become a memory for others.
These special moments around the table stand out as a reminder that we can have quality lives with one another.
I have to wonder what people today will share as memories in the future? Fast-food, "Happy Meals," and instant dinners have made common meals less and less central. We joke at our home that we only use our dining table when friends come over. Part of my new year's resolution has been to make our table more of a central place. I actually sit, eat my breakfast, and occasionally pull out one of my great grandmother's China cups and drink my coffee, just so that I might start my day with a reminder that I am to be a vessel, like this cup, of peace and hospitality to others.
One thing that I have realized, is that perhaps we will have less painful or remorseful memories to share if we fill our lives with more joyful memories? Can we make our tables, or as vessels of Christ, make ourselves, a place of hospitality, inviting others to kindness, joy, peace, gentleness and offer the opportunities to create beautiful memories?
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2019
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.