Dear Sabbath Seekers,
On Saturday I participated in a graveside service that included a tea party. That’s right, a tea party.
My dear friend, Sandra, requested that we have a tea party in the cemetery when we buried her. And her wish was granted.
For a little background, Sandra loved tea and she loved to give teas. Several years ago she convinced a friend of hers to let her hold a tea in their barn. It took a bit of convincing but once it took place it became a summer happening. These same friends are the ones who put on the tea by her grave.
And it was lovely. As I walked up the little hill to her site the first thing I saw were two tea tables adorned with white linen tablecloths. Arranged on the tables were tiers of Sandra’s china tea cups and tea pots along with cookies, muffins and Sandra’s favorite – lemon bars. I stopped in my tracks to take it all in.
Instead of looking out-of-place it looked like it belonged there. The morning was warm, the sun was bright with a gentle breeze rustling through the leaves creating a dappled effect on the tables. The birds were singing and people were milling about chatting, holding tea cups and savoring the feelings of peace and delight even in a most difficult time.
The moment was transformational and I knew that once again, Sandra, in her gentle wisdom had created for us the perfect setting in which to say goodbye. It was classic Sandra and it reminded me that many of Sandra’s Sabbath Moments came when she sat down to have tea with God.
And so in a little cemetery on a sunny Saturday morning we all shared tea with God giving thanks for Sandra’s life among us, for blessing us with such a beautiful creation in which to live and for reminding us that taking tea can be a form of prayer.
I read this at the graveside: “If you ask Zen people they will say tea is not something that you pour with unawareness and drink like any other drink. It is not a drink, it is meditation; it is prayer. So they listen to the kettle creating a melody, and in listening they become more silent, more alert.” Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh
In the silence God speaks and we listen. As we listened yesterday, God spoke in the silence and we all experienced a Sabbath Moment of peace and love.
“For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly moved…For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him.” Psalm 62:1-2; 5
Blessings in your silent moments,