It is a beautiful tea set–china given to us by a church in Belfast, Ireland! I couldn’t have imagined this would be an open door to revelation regarding eternal relationships! I’ve always collected teacups in my adult life, but they’ve sat in a china cabinet for the occasional viewer, followed by the stories of how each one was acquired. Several times I wondered if there couldn’t be a greater purpose for these beautiful pieces of china. I experimented a few times using the teacups with my granddaughters or young women in our church that I mentor. We would discuss their concerns and I would encourage and download things the Lord was speaking to me for them. They seemed to enjoy the “tea time” as their generation for the most part rarely stops for an occasion such as this. Then our 50th Anniversary trip to Europe was planned for the spring of this year. One evening at a meal with the pastor and his wife and a few other people from their congregation in Belfast, I began to share about how I love to mentor young women and have tea parties with them. Lo and behold, a few nights later at a special anniversary party for us, they presented us with a gorgeous tea set saying they wanted to plant a seed into the lives of these young women.
I was so looking forward to the first official tea party with the new tea set. It took a while, as life was busy upon our return from Europe, which is typically why most never stop for this type of optional luxury. Many in the younger generation barely pause for a family meal together much less a non-essential “tea party.”
If you could have seen the young woman’s eyes when she stepped into my dining room and saw the beautiful tea set with cloth napkins and special little cupcakes called “bundtini’s.” As the tea party progressed, the Lord began to speak to me about the effort and price that must be expended in order to build eternal relationships. In this relaxed but unique atmosphere where a special effort had been made just for her, I began to sense a new openness and the relationship building in a new way. The Lord began to speak to both of us about the honor that’s released when we treasure each other enough to invest at this level. The tea set was like a key for unlocking something very significant. Just as it is fragile and beautiful, relationships are also fragile and beautiful. Tea sets have to be treasured and cared for, but also utilized. They can sit in china cabinets, or they can be brought to the table where they can bless people. Relationships have to be treated in the same manner. So often we walk by and view them, but we don’t take the time to bring them into a setting where they can be valued and shared.
It’s through the building and treasuring of relationships that we get positioned for valuable life lessons and encounters that strengthen us for life’s challenges! Social media has it’s purpose, but we should never let it replace face to face encounters–coffee with a friend, an actual sit down dinner with your family, or…a tea party!
Jesus chose a table setting to reveal to His disciples an act of covenant that would redeem all of mankind!
In the next blog post we’ll look more at the value and building of eternal relationships!