The Tea Cup

Saturday, Bill and I had a free afternoon, seldom found around here, even if we don’t have anyone else living with us at the moment. So we decided to eat out for lunch. Again, very rare that we eat out. Anyway, I mentioned Inspirations and he agreed.  I’m not sure what he thought when he walked into a dainty, feminine tea house, but I think he enjoyed it. He just seemed out of place, my big tall man surrounded by dainty tea cups. It made me think of this essay I wrote for my mom.

Sentimental, maybe, but I remember the teacup well. Little rose-colored hearts adorned the sides, and gold swirls laced the rim, playing along the edge. Near the bottom, tiny treasures signaled the time to refill the cup with tea. And so we refilled it over and over as we sat and talked at the table. Perhaps it was your heart talking to mine or my heart responding to some mysterious message of warmth from your sweet raspberry tea.

Mother, I still remember the insight into life you shared. When we laughed at my two-year-old’s gibberish and she crawled into your lap wanting a sip of hot tea. You taught me how to be firm but loving. And I remember the day we cried together over your own mother’s rejection of you, her harshness and the healing that came when you understood her past.

Some days we had big grown-up talks about men and boys and the horror of rape or incest or neglect or abandonment. Somehow it was never as horrible, the way you said it. Your heart always enveloped the unmentionable in your warmth and your concern. Even my own pain lessened and I felt your words comforting and expanding to embrace my hurt. You were always there with your support and insight as to why.

And just when my heart could not hold any more, the cat would jump playfully into your lap and you would laugh. “Someone is always begging for a sip of my tea,” you said.

And you’d pour out a little of the raspberry sweetness into a saucer and set it on the ground, never holding anything back. Wisdom, maybe that’s what you poured into my cup of tea.

God’s wisdom, and sometimes His wisdom through others like my mother,  is never ending, always being poured into our lives.

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