I’ve been honing my handyman skills over the years. I’ve built many things from trivets to headboards to boxes for jewels. I’ve built walls and fences, decks and benches, desks and shelves. Some projects filled a need while others were just a whim and some were just a poor attempt at a grand idea. Through each I learned what works and what works better, what needs to be done first and why then how to plan it all out. Shortcuts result in shoddy work and often there is only one right way to do something.
This most recent project has been brewing for quite a while. I’d looked at many examples of what I wanted trying to figure out how they were built and watched many videos looking for ideas. A table is a very important piece of furniture and I wanted to build something that would last. I did not draw up a plan, (I rarely do), but had all the details worked out in my mind step-by-step. I figured out the proper height for my family and how many we wanted to seat comfortably. I wanted something substantial yet not bulky, practical but not plain. I wanted someplace to gather and linger, not just sit at. After all, that is what tables are for.
A table is a meeting place. It is a place where people look at each other in the eye and share ideas and memories and plans. It is not a desk where the one behind is in charge. It is not a counter where one comes to be served. It is not a buffet to pick and choose and then walk away.
A table holds a moment in time, meant to be shared…meant to be remembered.
I have argued at a table and found common ground. I have belly-laughed to tears and then through those tears laughed even more. Other tears around a table have not been so pleasant but brought on by pain and heartache, fear and regret. I have made grand plans around a table and then wondered at mediocre success. I have joined hands in prayer, watched as Bibles were opened, then been amazed by a gracious God as he opens each one’s eyes to truth we had not seen before.
This particular table was all the more important to me because my son helped me build it. We laughed and learned. I’m not sure if he had any thoughts about the significance of a table…this table in particular…but I did. A family needs a place to gather and this is our table.