Friday, June 10, 2011

Dinner Conversation

Matthew 18:2-4
"And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven
."

Last night I sat around the dinner table of an apartment that I used to live in, celebrating the Sabbath with a small group of people who understand how I think. It was a bittersweet meal to share- for the last four years, at least one of our little group has occupied this apartment, and come this Monday, it will no longer be ours to eat in. The two who still live here are packing up and moving on, and next week will bring new suitcases and the chance to make new memories. During dinner prep, we all discussed our uncertain futures- where to go and what to do for money, and how to be happy. We felt the strain of being in the place of learning to trust God and move on, and quite frankly, it felt scary.

And then, it was dinner time. We lit eight candles and turned out the lights and sang the blessings. Then we ate risotto made of the last of the food in the fridge, shared a bottle of wine, and talked about the hard turns of life. And somewhere in between nature vs nurture and regret, faith like a child came into clarity.

See, as children, we have faith that is unfailing. We don't understand that disappointment is a good possibility- we let it shock us again and again. We expect without reason or hope, and we don't let failure keep us down.

But on a deeper level, as one friend pointed out, child faith means lacking regret. We believe that our decisions are the right ones, and we don't understand the worry or fear that comes from thinking that maybe, just maybe, we've ruined our lives.

My friend's daughter is almost two. She does not worry about her next paycheck. She isn't concerned about if the roof over her head is stable, or if there will be a next snack. She doesn't winder if she will suffer heartache or feel lonely or if she's made too many mistakes. She just lives.

We too, don't have to worry about our lives or our tomorrows or what we've made a mess of. And the last Shabbat in the apartment is just another symbol that life is dynamic- we move on. We move out. And if we're smart, we realize that it's the people that did the conversing that make life worth living, not the place or time where the conversation took place.

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