Over a plate and a glass

I went to a funeral today. I didn’t know the man who died, but I’ve known his daughter for years. She is a gift to the town I call home, a sure and steady force for common sense and community service. Today was a chance to offer her my condolences, and to offer a prayer of thanks for the life of her father.

After the church and graveside prayers have all been said, family and friends stay together for one last holy act: sharing a meal. There are stories and memories best told over a loaded plate and a full cup, heard ┬ámost gratefully over the scrape of forks and clinking of glasses. This meal that honors a life and its loss isn’t just a nice extra. It is the first act of a family who will gather together and continue to grow, not with but because of the one who is no longer present.

I’m a stranger to the family, so I did not share their meal and stories today. But sometime soon, I’ll chop onions and carrots for soup and make a loaf of bread. I’ll pick up a bottle of wine. I’ll offer these small things to a daughter who buried her father, and I’ll tell her that I am thankful for the man who brought her into this world – a delight to God and a gift to this world. Could I say such words without the food? Perhaps. But they seem easier to say and easier to hear over a plate and a glass than on their own.

5 thoughts on “Over a plate and a glass

  1. I Love the way the Lenten Series begins each session with a meal made by participants. I feel people relax over” a plate and a glass” even if the glass ls water. It sets the tone for the discussion to follow.Thanks for your special way of presenting and making me realize that this series beacause of the meal is a blessing. Anita

    1. Thanks, Anita. I think you are right – deepening our faith together is more meaningful with a shared meal. I think it’s especially meaningful because each of the Lenten series meals are provided by the participants – a wonderful way to honor our neighbor with our time and talent. peace, Johnna

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