When you read my post The Table Is Set, I placed a picture of our family dining room table. This table also holds very fond memories of my Mom’s mom. Her name was Reba but us grandkids called her Rea. This table belonged to Rea and when she passed, I acquired not only the table but a table full of memories.
This dinning room suit was how my Papa Jack proposed to Rea. After courting Rea for a while, he called her one day and said look at the dinning suit in the front window of the furniture store on your way home from work. Then, he instructed her to let him know if she liked the set. Apparently, she liked the set and it raised a family, grandchildren and now one of her great-grandchildren and possibly in the future a great great-grandchild with many a meal.
Early in my childhood, Dad was fortunate enough to have his parish close enough to Rea and Papa Jack’s house. This enabled us to pile in the car on Sunday after worship and go to her house for Sunday lunch and visit with my aunt, uncle and cousins. Now, my grandmother was as Southern as a gal could get and that was especially true with her cooking. The Sunday meal would consist of fried chicken, green beans that had cooked all morning, potato salad, gravy, biscuits, fried okra, fried green tomatoes, and the list goes on down to the sweet tea. YUM!
Though the food was so tasty, the fellowship around the table was the best part. You see, at Rea and Papa Jack’s house, there was no children’s table. Chairs were brought in from every room and everyone squeezed in and sat together. As the family grew, the more we squeezed in and phone books and/or the Sears Catalog in chairs were used for high chairs when needed. There were no bibs for the little ones because a tea towel tied around the front worked just as good if not better. Then, as the meal would progress you would hear giggles around the table as Dad would tell one of his stories.
Once the meal was complete, us kids would scatter out into the back yard where we would stand on the picnic table and perform our own concert of various repertoire. Mom and Rea would stay at the table a while and Rea would catch Mom up on the latest of family and friends. Papa would retire to his recliner and watch a ballgame and listen to it being called on the radio. Dad would find a place on the floor and take that Sunday afternoon snooze.
Out of all the memories of going to Rea’s house on Sunday, squeezing in around the table so all could be included on the fellowship is one of my fondest memories of Sunday. One reason I hold dear to this memory is that no one was left out. Everyone had a place at the BIG table! Everyone got to enjoy the fellowship. My grandmother’s Sunday dinner table was very much like I imagine the Great Banquet table will be in heaven. There will be no children’s table, and there will always be one more place to squeeze in one more chair. Oh, the fellowship will be awesome. I know that there will be smiles and giggles of joy because we will be dinning with the King.
Sometimes, we are in situations where we really need to bring in one more chair and squeeze in one more person, but we feel that there is no room. It is easier to place that person or persons at another place. When we don’t take the opportunity to squeeze in one more chair, we miss out on so much. For example, we miss the opportunity of getting to know another Child of God, just a little more fellowship, and another chance for another memory that could just possibly have an influence on our lives.
So, how about it? Can you just squeeze in a little more? Here, let’s add another chair and enjoy the fellowship.
- With All My Heart (pastorpaulvbsblog.blogspot.com)
- Meaningful Meals – Excerpts from Tim Chester (timmybrister.com)
- The Bread of Life — A Sermon for World Communion Sunday (pastorbobcornwall.blogspot.com)