The three of us walked in the house for the first time after our family had departed and all commented on how quiet it sounded... and spacious it looked. Actually, what we notice missing are children and suitcases... both of which add, shall we say... texture? :)
As I said, it has been good for our family to get together. One side affect of becoming a grandmother a few years ago was thinking more about the importance of generations and handing down traditions and a deep faith to those who would walk after us. Especially as we are facing changes in society one couldn't comprehend just ten years ago.
Both my husband and I were raised in difficult circumstances (for entirely different reasons) and living with someone who is bipolar has never been easy. However, God is good to fill in the pieces where people are not perfect... with grace. That's not to say there are never frustrations and tears but faith helps one smile and get through the hard times of life while grace helps us do it with beauty and joy.
Why am I thinking about "You prepare a table before me"? I was pondering that section of Psalm 23 when Stephanie and I were being served at the French restaurant last week. I thought of it again as I stood in a long line for a food pantry this afternoon. How ironic that in the same week I would be visiting a food pantry and enjoying a gorgeous meal... but that is the way God works.
My daughter and son-in-law cannot change our circumstances but in the midst of them they can be a blessing. Oh, I'm sure the practical thing to do would be to spend the same amount of money for a trip to Wal Mart or Aldis but that is not the same as God "preparing a table before me".
When God prepares a table, He provides an experience. Food will settle hunger temporarily but a mother-daughter meal at a nice French restaurant feeds the soul as well (and the memories last forever). Especially when it is time spent with a favorite person. He prepares the table... in front of my enemies so says the Psalm... He knows
Stephanie and I talked about the delicious food and how it is made with everyday ingredients. It is just knowing how to put it all together that makes it special. We both came away with an idea for making simple food a little more special.
But that's the way life is, too. He prepares a table... sometimes He uses others to bless us and there are those occasions He gives bread to the giver and allows us to be the blessing. Both involve looking far beyond our circumstances and living a life filled with grace... giving and receiving.
It makes me wonder how I can "prepare a table" for a couple of people I know who are hurting right now. :)