I recently recovered quite a few files and photos from my China trip over the summer. What I'm sharing today is something that I wrote in China. It's such a sweet memory for me. Hope you enjoy it as well. "Whenever we eat together at the Japanese restaurant, I feel like I’m experiencing a tiny bit of heaven. We squeeze too many people at one table, and sit on pillows with our bare feet dangling beneath the table. Toes touch, feet stink, and the food always takes a long time to reach our table. Most of the time when the food takes a long time at a restaurant, I get frustrated. This is a different experience, though. It’s comfortable. We always sit in a private room where we talk freely, play games, and share inside jokes for hours on end. The food is delicious, but I feel like that’s a secondary detail. The community experience is the most valuable part.
"Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends." (Rev. 3:20)
I always think of this Revelation verse when go to dinner as a group in China, even when it’s not at the Japanese place. It’s an odd thing to eat alone in China. It’s a family oriented activity, meant to be shared and savored, not rushed. Not knowing the language here forces you to slow down and it drives the need for one another. If I can’t pronounce “dumpling,” perhaps someone else in my crew can. Even fast food appears to be eaten slower here. There’s more seating in the KFC than there is in your average American KFC. People tend to take their time and eat.
I think God is a sit-down restaurant kind of God. He doesn't desire to interact with us through a window, sticking half of his body out, only making quick, surface-level interactions, simply exchanging money and chicken sandwiches. Instead He reclines at the table with us, sits close, allows His bare feet to touch ours, shares laughs, and keeps no record of time."