A table can represent many things. Meals, bills, homework, art projects and board games all have a place here. There’s a lot of community that can happen around a table. When meals are shared, conversation often ensues. It’s a wondrous thing.
This is our table. I’m sure you thought I’d never actually get around to showing the inside of our home but here’s a glimpse, kitchen and all.
Food can sometimes make me feel like an outsider sadly. I’ve gone through bouts of serious sickness in the past and have mourned the loss of several food types. It’s easier than it was at first, but sometimes it’s still hard to keep going. While I haven’t been sick as often or intensely, I have to keep with it. Crazy food restrictions are still there. Sometimes I want to throw all caution to the wind and occasionally, I have. It ends in mixed results ranging from seemingly no change to an onslaught of sick.
At first, our meals with others seem to revolve around what I can and cannot eat. It’s a good story but by the end of the night it can be pretty exhausting to relive it all again and go through all the ins and outs of it. When just about every meal you share with someone involves you talking about all of the things you can’t eat, it can get overwhelming.
So, while I’d love to paint this beautiful picture of all the table can mean in community, it’s not the whole truth. It IS a wonderful setting for community and many meaningful things have happened there, but it’s also a hard and painful place for me. Food has caused so much stress and frustration, both as a result of eating it and of avoiding it. It can make me feel so disconnected from people, whether it’s because my meal will inevitably be different or maybe even because I have to physically leave in order to find something else to eat since nothing on the table will work. Yet at the same time, people have rallied around us and have been so kind and thoughtful as we’ve fought to figure this all out. There’s really been so much love and for that I am so grateful.
In the end, the table is a complicated place. Community and relationships are equally complicated. People have shortcomings and insecurities that cannot be as easily hidden in real relationships. Ultimately, it’s worth it to share in community and come to the table.