If you know me at all or have read some of these blog posts, you know that I’m a huge fan of Shauna Niequist. Everyone has those authors who feel like old friends, and Shauna is that to me. I got a hold of her books almost two years ago, and I’ve reread them time and time again. I wept with her in Bittersweet, laughed at moments in Cold Tangerines, and poured over life around the table in Bread and Wine. I’ve gone back to Bread and Wine the most, though. It seems to be my go to book when I head out for a run or when I’m being lazy on a Saturday afternoon.
There’s something about the connection and community that Shauna describes that I long for. This book was used to illustrate discipleship when I first became involved with the discipleship program at Taylor. Something was said about the table and Shauna’s short promo video was shown. I was hooked. The summer before I started my new leadership position, I read Bread and Wine three or four times.
No, it’s not a book about discipleship.
But in a way, it is because it’s a book about life and relationships and doing life together.
The book is exactly what it claims to be: a love letter to life around the table. Through stories, vulnerable stories, Shauna pulls back the curtain on her life and, in turn, pulls back the curtain on my life because she writes about real life stuff. She writes about connection and the table, about creating space for people to come as they are. She writes about food allergies, about valuing the needs of others. She writes about love and about family and about those who might as well be family.
It’s a book about the table and all it means and all it provides. It’s a lesson on creating space, on the good and bad ways to set the table. It’s one giant metaphor on life.
Oh, and it’s one of the reasons I decided to run the Chicago Marathon. Read Chapter 9. It will all make sense.