Isn't the best part about giving a gift in seeing the recipient's face partake in it? It's what brings me so much joy in cooking. I get to hear my girl's affirm me with their, "MMMs," while Ben affirms verbally time and again.
During my birthday party this summer, I was serving my friends by refilling their drinks, or tending to their needs. I would get a glance from a friend communicating, "Sit--enjoy this yourself." My response is what Nouwen writes below. I find myself being poured out and yet I feel full--not empty.
The table is one of the most intimate places in our lives. It is there that we give ourselves to one another. When we say, "Take some more, let me serve you another plate, let me pour you another glass, don't be shy, enjoy it," we say a lot more than our words express. We want them to be nurtured by the same food and drink that nurture us. We desire communion. That is why a refusal to eat and drink what a host offers is so offensive. It feels like a rejection of an invitation to intimacy.
Strange as it may sound, the table is the place where we want to become food for one another. Every breakfast, lunch, or dinner can become a time of growing communion with one another.
I hope to give more to this series as I'm teaching my first cooking class this Thursday. If you live in the area it would be my privilege to meet you at the table.