Monday, September 26, 2005

From A Full Cup of Life

Things had Linwood have not been silent - in fact they have been busy and full of life.

Monday night Happy Hour continues to see women coming to share where they are on the journey, to seek and to ask for prayer. We had a great discussion last week on emotional healing that developed out of an article Maureen had printed off to read to us. We briefly talked about being in "awe" through these times and being in awe of our own story.

Several groups have come and filled the house with prayer, with laughter, with tears and we have had the honor to holding sacred stories. This past weekend a Tuesday morning downtown Vancouver breakfast group of women came up. Late into the night they sat around, telling, listening, receiving, and seeing dreams be held open for others to speak into them.

Ron and Gwen have been very busy working at 28th Avenue, lining up volunteers, overseeing work, finding treasures for this sacred space. Check out our website to see more on this. Then they had a few days away together to enjoy a little road trip - after all, isn't that the delight of being retired? You can just take off for a few days together and explore.

In all this I have found that the "island" in the kitchen continues to be a place where, as I work, I can dialogue with wonderful new people, and with old friends, and hear more sacred story. As I chop the vegetables for soup that will simmer and flavours will mingle, I see that each ingredient on its own is good, but together it is something very delicious. On our own each of us can be an island but when we speak together in community a strong fabric is woven.

Sunday morning we lingered at the table, eating spanikopita omlettes, laughing, throwing out new ideas. And then we stilled, we waited, and we took communion together. We held the cup, held it up and offered all of our lives, our joy and our sorrow, offering all of it to God to use however He chooses.


Monday, September 12, 2005

Come Sit at the Table

As a culinary minister I firmly believe that the table is sacred space. Culinary art on the table is the invitation to come and dine.

Jesus said those words “come and dine” and invited his friends, in intimate settings, to come and take communion together. He also says he is standing at the door knocking, waiting for the invitation to come and dine with us, to be present at our table as we “break bread” together. Solomon, in his love song, invited his lover to come and dine.

The kitchen or dining room table here at Linwood House is holy ground where the sacred of our stories is shared and the fragrance of the pain and joy is added to the aroma of the food. There is such a sweet perfume of humility in this place that becomes “church” in action.

A large place of fresh greens, slices of cucumber, ginger carrot salad, corn salad, pea sprouts and skewers of grilled chicken tenders: this is live food for the body as well as protein, mixed with flavours and colours that entice the palate to participate more deeply in the eating adventure. But subtly there is much more to this picture – the “live” portion of this meal, in the middle of the day, brings healing and cleansing to the body.

The Spirit regularly issues the invitation to linger at table – linger and let the presence of the Divine One hover and move. What is spoken or whispered there is sacred and remains so for safekeeping; the 2.5 hours spent at lunch brought discussion, pain held out, tears bathed it, prayer for healing and restoration surrounded those in need. This circle of trust (as Parker Palmer describes it) invited each one to participate more deeply in community.

I still firmly believe that Jesus created meal time for Divine encounters and I celebrate the privilege of providing the epicurean part of the equation for them. Taking the Good News to the ends of the earth also involves taking it to the kitchen, or dining room table in fresh colour and texture!


Saturday, September 10, 2005

Colours of the Heart

The air is cooler, crisper in the mornings, the days are shorter and the light has a different glow at sunrise and sunset. Warm earthy tones in the changing leaves, in the fallen leaves, serenade us with a different melody as Autumn comes and makes us aware of her presence. Colours that are gloriously warm yet hold the message of another season that follows.

Colours. The long pine table, its warm honey tones, was full at breakfast; it will again be so at lunch and supper. The room was perfumed with laughter, with languages and colours as the multicultural group of women here this weekend began their day together. J

As grace was spoken in Korean we all gave thanks to the Almighty in our own language of praise. The One who has made “every tribe, every tongue and nation” and brings the colours of character, nature, culture, eyes, skin and language together at His banquet table.

The beauty of it is seeing cultures together in laughter, in tears, in honoring of each journey is delightful. Just as Autumn brings her colours to our senses, so the Spirit comes with the colours of Abba’s daughters this weekend. It is the colours of God’s heart – the feminine heart that I see this weekend.

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