The dinner table for our first years of marriage was more of an accessory to our home than an actually used piece of furniture. It was tucked into the only available corner in our small one-bedroom apartment and rather than staring at the walls while eating, my husband and I often chose to just eat at our sofa. It's a habit we haven't quite broken even as we now have a designated dining room.
Today the table is literally and figuratively the center of our home. No longer tucked into a corner of our home it now serves our family as part workspace part dining space. We do the bulk of our administrative campus ministry work from our table, DIY projects often begin on that table, and food is regularly enjoyed around the table.
But beyond all the practical ways it serves our family, it serves an even greater purpose. The table is where relationships in our lives have most often been formed and continue to be developed. Our move to Milwaukee has magnified the significance of food in our relationships. I see that my time spent planning, shopping, and preparing our meals is a blessed opportunity to gather new friends and old friends around our table. I wholeheartedly feel the foods I lay out on our table are simply the means to gathering individuals around the table. The food is the talking point that breaks the ice on new relationships and opens the door for intimate conversations. And the food holds the story behind old relationships that draws out the reminiscing of our pasts.
Even on a regular weeknight, when it's simply my husband and I, I soak in the opportunity to chop, mix, stir, and saute. Each meal I prepare becomes the starting point of our evenings together. After we've arrived home from work and my husbands had a moment to retreat and unwind, and I've had my moment to turn up the music and quietly prep our meal, the food is what brings us together. It draws out our days, the frustrations and the blessings. And it's very simply another opportunity in our lives to consistently grow closer to one another.
In this new city, with so many new relationships being formed, I love the history of the table and the relational quality it provides in our lives. No matter where we go or what we're doing, the table will always be a gathering point. The place we consistently grow closer to one another and others.