When you’re close to running on empty, there are beautiful things that can fill you back up again. When you’re sleep deprived and brain-frazzled, there are experiences that can comfort the soul.
There are tables of chili and cornbread waiting for you. There are new friends with open hands and hearts anxious to hear your story. You’ll sit by a wall of books and tell those little anecdotes that make life real and livable, while you drink sweet tea that’s everything wonderful.
You’ll find people that remind you of people you love, and the world will become a tiny place again, a warm spot before a glowing hearth.
There are little hobbit shires made of Legos for your toddler to explore, mini pumpkins for your one year old to throw across the room because he thinks it’s a ball.
There are laughs to echo across the table, secrets to share, souls to lay bare in the infancy of community.
It’s all beautiful, but perhaps the most beautiful thing about it is how undeniably needed those few hours are. How a prayer before the meal can bring pools of tears, how the human heart, the human marriage, the human family, the human life, all need the simplicity of shared community.
We were filled up again. We were reminded, ushered into the presence of a history long lived and longer told, of people and food and table and sharing; of the comfort of couches and the playfulness of a puppy who fetches the orange pumpkin that the infant throws.
It seems magical, and maybe it is. But last night, for us, it was simply medicine for our weary bones, some of the best medicine the world has ever known.