THE TABLE SPREAD

ewf_beardTHE FOURTH DAY OF SEPTEMBER IN THE YEAR OF GRACE TWO THOUSAND AND SIXTEEN.


The table is spread and the meal is served. Guests are united in the human race to which they all belong, resplendent as the rainbow of complexions that make their faces shine. Hues of black intermingle with tones of yellow, juxtaposed by shades of white and red and brown.

Guests exchange pleasantries and self-introductions a sentence long, in the process discover diversity of a deeper quality. Their time on earth was marked by a range of social, economic, and professional positions: farmers, teachers, engineers, grandmothers, lawyers and medics. Now freed from all artificial distinctions, they see each other face to face. Pretenses gone, they know as they are known.

Back of it all stand another unity and diversity, this one at the core of their individual identities. This unity consists of a shared brokenness, a oneness manifested in the diversity of its individual forms. For now there remains hope and help and healing, these three, in this picture of the kingdom of God. The imagery serves as a challenge to a church still in progress, whose sacred destiny it portrays by a secular counterpart. The vignette portrays not only the kingdom of God, but also mealtime at Memorial Hermann Rehab Hospital in Katy, Texas, where I am presently a resident patient.