The Story of the Beautiful Free Kitchen Table
We are now over two months into being married.
For those of you reading this who are married, this might sound like a very short amount of time.
For those of you are not married, this might sound like a long time.
To me, it seems short. The last two months have gone by too fast.
The wedding was super fun. It was my favorite gathering I’ve been to – I was exhausted afterwards, but it was worth it. We saw many of our friends and family. To end the night we lit off a few Chinese lanterns we remembered we had, then crashed in the RV on site. It turns out some of our closest family and friends stayed up all night talking, playing twister, and enjoying the heart-shaped bonfire.
The honeymoon was perfect, too. We car camped at a different state or national forest campground in the upper peninsula of Michigan and northern Wisconsin. There are different stories to go with each and every day of that particular adventure. Those pictures will show up on Facebook one of these days.
We moved into our first place, a gorgeous two bedroom apartment located in the Midtown Neighborhood of Milwaukee – we are walking distance of downtown and Marquette University.
Living a married life is different. We moved in with very few things – all of it fit into the back of a mini van and Valerie’s car (Skinny P).
There are some very generous and helpful families at Unity, the church we attend, and which I am completing my year as Outreach Ministry Intern. One family member called me at the church and asked me what kind of things we needed for our apartment. I said our priority was finding a table we could eat dinner on with guests.
Fast forward a few hours. I am standing outside Unity on a Wednesday night. Wednesdays are nights of beautiful organized chaos where Jesus feeds, people eat, and many conversations happen. We serve something like 180 meals each week to various people living in the community.
In Guatemala, most restaurants would welcome you at the door with great enthusiasm to come in and enjoy dinner. If I am able, I like standing by the door and welcoming people. The double doors were wide open, letting in the beautiful crisp fall air. Some people ignore me when they walk in, reminding me of when I got paid to “Greet” at Wal-Mart, but thankfully most people look up, make eye contact, and say “Hi!”
This particular evening, a fellow walks in with a sign hanging off of his neck. I assume it is a sign asking for food or money like I see people with on my bicycle commute each day. I ask him “What’s the sign say?”, wondering what kind of response I will get.
The sign says, in all capitals FREE FREE FREE — BEAUTIFUL KITCHEN TABLE SET WITH CHAIRS — FREE FREE FREE.
I realize this man is an angel sent from God. I ask him about the table, and he describes it as very nice. This is how things work around Unity. If you say you need something, it shows up like manna dropping from heaven. Whether it is bread, a coffee grinder, or emotional support in time of tragedy, it shows up. That Wednesday it just happened to be a Free Beautiful Kitchen table to furnish Valerie and I’s first home.
We eat dinner by candlelight on this table each night. It suits our first home. I hope we can use it for years, decades even.
It is a reminder of community and support. It is a reminder of what to be thankful for.