The Tea Party girls meet every week. We sit at a small table, in a small apartment and enjoy hot tea, fruit, dessert and each other. The china dishes are lovely and from a bygone era. They are mismatched and lovely because of their uniqueness. The tea party a time of sharing, of laughter, talk of husbands, talk of Jesus, talk of babies…simply put just talk and togetherness. This week, one of the young girls, who is expecting her first baby, shared with joy that her mother will be arriving soon for the birth of the baby. It was a day of celebration!
As I drove home, I remembered another Tea Party when my daughter was just a little girl. She had a little table and a Tea set. Often, the people my daughter invited to her Tea parties were her brother, “Puppy” (her beloved stuffed animal) and me. Of course, Brother was never there for long! I remember how she delighted in the pouring of tea and the conversation with Puppy. Sweet memories. Then in a flash she would announce, “The tea party is over. Bye Mama”. I would smile and leave her but honestly was glad the tea party was over so I could get on with my day….
...This month, my daughter graduates from high school and will move away to college, twelve hours away. I find myself longing for more minutes with her at her tea party table. This time I would be in no hurry to leave and get on with my day...But then… I heard His voice…Follow Me.
Then [Jesus] he said to him, “Follow me!”Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them.I begin to think about the Tea party girls I meet with weekly. Their homes are across the world, literally, in China. The travel time from their homes to Tuscaloosa, Alabama is at least a 20-hour journey and involves many documents and time zones. It is a difficult journey. The Tea party girls are all married and have come to America with their husbands. These girls left everything they knew to come to this new world. They left their comforts, their language, and their way-of-life. They each had families who hold them dear but let them go. They each have moms who cried as they left China. But here, in little Tuscaloosa, maybe just maybe they are learning and growing. Certainly they are learning about the new culture and making new American friends. But they are also learning about a God, a Saviour many have never met. God is blessing their leaving to learn of Him.
When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” John 21:19-21
So, perhaps it is in the going that we learn. I trust that as my girl goes…she will begin to learn anew. As she goes, Jesus will be teaching her new things and she will grow and flourish. Isn’t that my dream for her? And as I watch her go, the miracle will be that Jesus goes with her and He stays with me. The miracle is that He is whispering to both of us ‘Follow Me’.
Let us each hear that call of comfort from Him. Whatever your heartache today, whatever your joy, the truth He speaks is…Follow Me.