In my dining room rests a dark cherry table. For all her elegance, she has a bit of visible character engraved within her. Towards the southern edge, her once pristine finish has been disrupted by slanted calligraphy unintentionally carved into her surface. If you tilt your head slightly to the left, the sunlight will catch it in the afternoon, it reads, “…being made conformable unto his death…” the last part of Philippians 3:10, my father-in-law’s favorite verse. Closer to the northwestern corner the table has less glamorous details. Scratches and indentations have roughed the once smooth area. Micah eats there, and his three-year-old adventures with his fork and spoon occur there as well. If you look even more closely, you will notice another oddity. She is square. She wasn’t always that way though. Before we moved, she fit in a smaller room as a rectangle, but when we came here, she had to grow. So, the center leaf of the table was fitted into place, now contrasting with the outer leafs that have been used years longer.
Every Friday night she holds up leaning elbows, clasped fingers, and the occasional thumping of an intricate drum beat from my husband’s restless hands. And, some Friday nights, like this past one, an occasional tear will drip on her surface, but I don’t think she minds. We fit there perfectly. Sometimes we crowd around her corners to make room for more, but always, we fit perfectly.
Thankfully she isn’t bothered by our gatherings because she is just like us, beautifully made, but full of rough spots.
On Friday nights, there is nowhere else that I would rather be than at my table’s edge, my elbows resting on her sturdy supports among familiar faces for Life Group. I hope, if you have never come, that you will. This is where church happens, just like it did when the first Christian church was ever formed after Christ’s death and resurrection.
“All the believers were together and had everything in common…They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
by Brittany T. Lewis