I opened my linen closet door today to put away some freshly folded bedsheets. I followed my usual ritual, tucking the bed linens just to the left of the stack of tablecloths. Only, this time I stopped to look at the tablecloths.
You see, I usually ignore the tablecloths. They are like distant friends I know but hardly ever visit except on holidays. The bright red cloth with a sheen that shimmers even in low lighting? Michael and I would feel silly eating our Tuesday night meal on something so fancy. The rose-colored cloth my grandmother gave me? It seems like it would go best with an Easter ham and several little chins tucked around it. The linen spread with the hand-embroidered flowers? It will be the perfect heirloom to set out when God gives us a family someday.
I stopped cold in my tracks. When God gives us a family someday? I felt instant shame. I have been waiting nine years to set out that cloth, and God has given me a family to celebrate every day of those nine years. Michael and I are a family, children or no, and there is no better reason to dress my table.
I wasted no time firing up the iron. Those nine-year-old creases were stubborn, to be sure, but our table is now properly dressed in an autumnal, flower-embroidered linen. Never mind the fact that we had popcorn for supper. We still dined in style. And, you better believe that red cloth is coming out of the closet next week.
So, whether you are a family of one or one hundred, I hope you dress your table and celebrate the family God in His wisdom has given you.