Four Young Men and the Good China
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Luke 12:34
Last Thursday marked the official end of the “graduation season” for me. There was one celebration remaining and the invited guests were my son Jason and his three good buddies Ty, Ryan and Dane. The list of things I love about having these four young men in my kitchen is a long one! I’m lucky to have been their teacher, either in kindergarten or fourth grade and I have enjoyed a front row seat to their entire “growing up.” They are great men, and they have terrific parents so I know they will do great things in this world. It was so fun listening to them jabber on and on about dorms and classes and new college roommates. They have their toes on the edge of a big adventure but I have to say the whole thing hurt my heart a little because they have been such a part of my life it’s hard to imagine evenings without them watching ball games, dueling loudly at the ping pong table and playing PlayStation in the basement. I’ll miss the pile of shoes collected inside the back room door signaling their presence and honestly I’ll miss their perpetual hunger! These boys can eat, and as any woman who loves to cook knows, there’s nothing better than a hungry crowd! Given their intense love for food, it seemed only fitting that my graduation gift to them would revolve around a meal. So, Thursday was the day they filed in to my kitchen for fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn on the cob, strawberry short cake and graduation gifts.
I wanted these boys to know how grateful I am for their friendship to my son and how very special they are to me so…much to everyone’s surprise they didn’t eat at the island or dash off to the basement with a plate. Instead, the dining room table was set with fresh flowers from my garden and my Mothers good china, complete with linen napkins and 50 year old stemware. I didn’t do it to impress them or make them uncomfortable; I did it out of love. The whole time I was setting the table and preparing the meal, I prayed for them. I prayed that God would guide them in the path He has specifically planned for each of them. I prayed for their safety, their purity, their success and mostly for their desire to grow deeper in their faith. By the time they arrived to eat, I was blinkin like a frog in a hail storm fighting back tears!
So why the china…at lunch…on a Thursday…for four teenage young men? Because it’s special! I am not a “stuff” kind of person. I don’t have jewelry or fancy things; except for Mom’s china. It was a gift from my brother Jim. When he was in the Navy, he picked it up overseas for Mom and gave it to
her for Christmas. My mother was not a fancy girl either but Jim’s china and the wedding ring from my Dad were her two great treasures. When she died, Dad gave me the china and it just sits in the hutch looking pretty. I read a story not too long ago about a little girl who asked her mother why they never used her good china and she said, “Well sweetie, it’s for very special people.” The little girl crinkled her nose and said, “But mom, you told me I was special and I’ve never gotten to use the china.” OUCH!
I remembered that story after I had set the table Thursday with the regular every day dishes and quickly put them back in the cupboard. As I was carefully taking the china down from the shelf, it occurred to me that God sees us the way I see my Mother’s china. In His eyes, we are precious treasures. We have been created in His image and likeness which makes us beautiful and special and priceless. The china needs to come out of the hutch more often and I need to act like I am loved and treasured more often. I forget I am precious in the eyes of God even in my sinfulness, even in my shortcomings. Sitting down to a table set with china creates an atmosphere that isn’t there with paper plates or regular dishes. It demands carefulness and appreciation. What if we woke up each morning and
lived the day knowing it was a gift from God designed to be treasured, respected and appreciated like good china? All too often we tuck that knowledge away like china in a hutch, settling for the regular and the average. God designed us for greatness and He loves us with enormous passion…perhaps we should start living like we remember that!
I used my time and treasure to show those four young men how special they are to me. I wish them every good blessing and I know they will be back to share their stories because one of the gifts I gave them was a full cookie box with their name and a tag that said “refills forever” on top. They thought it was a yummy gift…I knew it would be one way to guarantee they would be back to my kitchen again and again and when they leave my kitchen they will get a box of cookies and prayers!
A Seed To Plant: If you have good dishes or special things you are saving, get them out this week and use them to show your appreciation or affection to someone special…it’s a simple way to reflect the love of the Father.
Blessings on your day!
7/25/2013 01:09:31 am
this life is all about choices. we can choose to love,to follow or ignore. I often think of the infinate variety that God has created for us,in everything. He didnt have to make our world to beautiful,but he did. By doing so he gave us constant opportunities to choose,little reminders of his path,his love. We must choose wisely.
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