"Welcome to the Homeplace Mission. Grab your cup of coffee or tea, pull up a chair to the old kitchen table, and open your Bible to..."
For two years, this was the introduction to my Sunday morning radio program in my home town. I actually had a very old kitchen table, where I would make my tapes for the month before dropping them off at the station. I had my Bible and notes and recorder and my cup of coffee and literally sat there talking to my audience.
I still have that table and it is now in my kitchen, rather than in my office, which was also my recording studio back then.
I live in a different house now, but on the same property, and that old table serves as a desk as well as a table, positioned by the window at the end of my galley-type kitchen. I have a dining room with a large table for family gatherings, but the old table is perfect for my use.
It is small yet large enough for four people to sit at it if need be, but I only keep one other chair at the end in case somebody drops by. Mine is the kind of home where most of the activity takes place in the kitchen. The one long side sits against the wall right under a large picture window, where I can watch the birds, deer and wild turkeys strolling through my yard which is surrounded by woods. I have a small garden with vegetables and flowers planted several feet beyond the window and a humming bird feeder as well as a seed feeder, where the various kinds of birds gather. There is also an apple tree planted near the corner of the house and I have quite a view of Cardinals and squirrels, and can even watch the deer stealing apples in the fall.
This old table must date back to the 1920's. It has straight, wooden legs painted white with an inch wide black band around the bottom, going down from a wooden rectangular frame. The top is metal covered with white enamel edged in black and there is a silverware drawer centered in the long side of it. It is very sturdy and convenient.
The enamel top is almost worn down to the metal, so I keep a tablecloth over it. The legs and edges, and drawer need painting, but I haven't touched it...partly because I hate to drag all the stuff out to paint and partly because it has it's original look, and I don't want to mess with antiquity. The old table looks the same as when it sat in my mother-in-law's kitchen when my husband was a boy.
Those enamel topped tables were great for rolling out dough, and many a good meal has been prepared on that old table. Those days are pretty much over for me, since I seldom cook for more than myself, now, but the old table is still the central part of the kitchen. I open and read my mail there and take notes from the various Christian TV programs I watch in the kitchen. Sometimes I even tape some of those shows sitting right there at that table, as I have a small TV and VCR mounted on a shelf on an opposite wall above the small, standing cupboard.
I sit at that table and talk for hours on the phone. I still pray for the sick and counsel folks in need, talk to family 2,000 miles away or hometown friends and relatives. I write various sermons at that table or just quietly read my Bible.
The month of June has been an unusually difficult month for my family. We have gone through an unexpected death at the end of May, two graduations on June 1st, the funeral on June 2nd, several family members hospitalized, some with serious surgeries, a 20 year marriage ending suddenly and all the devastation that brings, another surgery coming up tomorrow, family disputes, hurt feelings unresolved, and stress beyond belief. Blood pressure medications having to be doubled, two people having their blood sugar bottoming out to the point where one was in her vehicle, and didn't know where she had been, before a good Samaritan had to pull her out of her car at a stop light because she couldn't move. The paramedics said her blood sugar level was down to 50.
One son rolled his truck and it caught on fire. Others are moving across
country, buying and selling houses within that process. Some are in a financial
dilemma, and trying to find work. Others trying to get settled in a new church
and ministry. All of us trying to help each other while going through our own
personal trials. Several have bounced between faith and fear, or peace and panic
Some can't wait for June to end, while others fear as to what July may bring.
The old kitchen table has heard it all, as everything has been discussed while sitting there. Yet, it hasn't moved...the old table stands it's ground no matter what happens.
God is like that and reminds us that HE is in control. He is unmovable in all adversity. He wants us to be that way; unmovable and unflappable. We shall not be moved, as the old hymn goes, because we are like trees planted by that Living Water. Yes, we have emotions to deal with, because God gave them to us; however the bottom line is that we know deep within, that it is all going to work out...and for our good! (Romans 8:28)
Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that God has a plan and a future for us and it is good and not evil.
When I walk into the kitchen each morning and see that old table, I think of the life that has played out for over 80 years around it...of the great meals and conversations, of laughing, happy times, and times of sadness and tears. I also think of the faith that has been passed down across the years to this family...a faith that has brought stability in the midst of adversity.
I have to smile when I think, "God, help us to be as strong, serviceable, enduring, comforting, and stable as this old kitchen table"!
God Bless You All,
This month's WOW ( Word Of Wisdom)