Sometimes, when I want to show my love and appreciation for my wife, I’ll put out the really good bone china and lead crystal. I’ll make a nice dinner and serve it by candlelight. Other times, we’ll dress up and go to a show followed by dinner at a white linen tablecloth restaurant.
In both cases, the plates, silverware, and glassware match the surroundings, meal, and the way we dressed. You put good food on good plates. You don’t serve hot dogs with sterling silver or on expensive china plates.
When it comes to eating steamed crabs, you don’t even go to the trouble or expense of paper plates. You throw down some old newspaper, pile the crabs up and dig in. If you’re at a restaurant, you might be treated to brown craft paper that is rolled out on the table before the crabs arrive.
Eating steamed crabs is always about the event itself, not the surroundings. It’s all about the food, your friends, and just sitting together for hours. As you pick your way through the crabs together, stories and memories are shared that bind us together. We’ll remember the “good old days” and the relatives that are no longer with us. We’ll remember the great highs and devastating lows. We’ll share what made us happy, what made us sad, what made us laugh, what made us cry.
And in the end, when we all smell of steamed crabs and are stuffed to the gills, we will rediscover what we thought we had lost. Our friendship, our connection, the glue that holds us all together.
Hope is just like that. It takes place in the normal, everyday settings of life. On everyday newspaper covered kitchen tables, not fancy linen-covered formal dining suites.
Hope is renewed when we sit down with family and friends, doing normal things that remind us of who we are, where we came from, and who we hope to become.
It’s time to sit down on a newspaper-covered table and rediscover hope.