Loving Every Minute of Sitting at the Table

Dirty_dishesWhen your child texts you: “Please call ASAP!” – you do it!

“Dad, half the staff has a stomach bug. Do you think you and Mom can come out to camp and help out?” The urgency in his voice made it hard to consider any option other than rushing out to help.

Quickly gathering ourselves, Staci and I loaded up the car and made the relatively short drive to camp. After being briefed by both our son and the program director, we responded with, “We’re happy to do whatever.” The relief in their eyes was soon followed by a moment of awkwardness as they slowly proceeded: “Well . . . what we really need you to do is help in the kitchen specifically washing the dishes.” It was apparent they felt bad for asking, and clearly thought we would balk at such a menial task. “We said we would be happy to do whatever, and we meant it,” we responded.

Two days later, we had washed hundreds of dishes, cooked enough grilled cheese sandwiches to last a lifetime and fixed two toilets and a sink. Truth be told, we loved every moment of it!

In my lifetime of camp involvement, I have sat at every seat at the table. Camper, counselor, executive director – and yes, dishwasher. Each seat requires that we bring our unique gifts to the table for the good of the whole. All places are of equal value; each is important.

I learned my “table manners” very early at another table. We are people of the holy table. We are welcome to the holy table. Each time we gather at the holy table we “sit at a certain seat.”  I have been blessed to be at one place as the presider, other times as the preparer, other times as one offering prayers. Each seat requires that we bring our unique gifts to the table for the good of the whole. All places are of equal value; each is important.

In the end it is not important where we sit at the table. What is important is both bringing our gifts and inviting others to do likewise to the table.

1 thought on “Loving Every Minute of Sitting at the Table”

  1. Sue Triebenbach

    Thank you for this Bp. Brian! I remember being on camp staff one year working in the kitchen. I sat at the staff table with the other staff who were not camp counselors. It seemed though that I had a problem with just overfilling my cup with the daily “bug-juice” that we drank. Finally on about the 4th day of camp, our chaplain for the week asked me if he could pour my juice for me, and I gladly agreed. Bishop McNairy had no problelm filling my cup to just the right level without over pouring from the pitcher. When I read about your camp experiences, I am so reminded of mine at CLEC. The griefe of the inoperation of our church camp runs deeply in me. Thanks for posting your story.

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