Oh, how Mrs. Cedarholm loved having people over for a piping hot cup of tea! She would say something like this: “Serving a five-course meal may not suit your budget, but anyone can serve a cup of tea.” I began thinking about this as I listened to Mrs. Cedarholm talk to us about the importance of collecting teacups. We were on Madrigal tour, and she highly recommended we keep our eyes open for pretty teacups that were reasonably priced. Her thinking was, “If you want to minister to others (and somehow I knew I would!), and your budget is tight, tea is perfect. It is not costly, yet it provides intimate moments to share.”
Recently at a hotel restaurant, I overheard a woman say, “People just open up when they are seated at a table.” Perhaps it’s because our defenses are down; we just relax and allow folks into our souls. Aren’t you thankful our Shepherd fellowships with us and invites us to His table? Psalm 23 reminds us He prepares a table for us. Yes, He provides for our needs, but He does much more.
As a pastor’s wife for more than three decades, I can say many women have shared their joys and sorrows with me over a “spot of tea.” As I ministered at my kitchen table, hearts were touched and I was able to offer more than sweet hydration. For me, more friendships than I could count began over a simple cup of tea.
I love “cup of tea” moments, don’t you? This week I received the kindest anonymous note. It sent my heart soaring. A cheerful text, a favorite verse or hymn, a gift card to Old Main Café, a surprise candy bar left in someone’s mailbox—these are little things, but they make a big difference. Last semester an evangelist beamed as he told about a college senior who shared a Coke with him as a youngster at camp and how this small gesture encouraged him spiritually.
Have you considered getting a small kettle or coffee pot? Why not invite someone to have tea with you! It might be fun to start your own collection of teacups. And it’s always time to find a friend to share them with.