Only they’re not just things. They’re a piece of my life. They’re tied up with all sorts of happy family memories. As I sit here crying and packing up my grandmother’s china for long-term storage, I can’t help but remember all of the family dinners I attended and hosted. Dinners using fine china. Sometimes this particular set of fine china, sometimes other brands and styles.
I feel as if I’m packing away my holiday dinners, my family, and my gift of hostessing. I know in my head that my china is just going to be packed away for just a season. I know in my head that I will still have holiday dinners, my (smaller) family, and my gift of hostessing. But my heart has a hard time remembering that. My family and my friends tell me that this season of mourning will give way to a time of joy. One day my china will grace a beautiful table that’s surrounded by family and friends again. That will be my time for joy. My clock may be stuck at midnight, but I’m holding onto David’s promise:
“Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” ~ Psalm 30:5 (NIV)
Yes, I know my china is just stuff. I know it’s an earthly treasure, really I do. But my feeble heart sometimes ties my memories of earthly treasures to my heavenly treasures (Matthew 5:19-21).
So sometimes china plates are not really china plates. Sometimes china plates are dreams, and my dreams lay shattered like the crystal goblet that hit the ceramic tiles. So I’ll let the tears fall as I pack my china away, but I’ll try to hold onto the fact that it’s just for a season. A happier period is coming, with or without my china in its cabinet.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.” ~ Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4 (NIV)