Date Night is as sacred as the Sunday Service
They were looking for a sea change and had just moved to Tasmania. With two small children, and knowing no one, it was a challenging undertaking. They had arrived for Date Night. They wanted some time out from the demands of the kids. It was full on.
You could feel the tension as they sat down. Resentment, disappointment, failure, bitterness leaking from their soul. So hurt, so broken, and yet here they were making an effort to salvage what they could of their relationship.
They were gay, needing time out from the kids but wondering if they would be accepted at Date Night. Were they eligible for time out from their kids? Would they be accepted and loved the same as everyone else? Did they have a right to be good parents in the eyes of others?
They were mums with fly-in fly-out partners. Some months they came to Date Night with their partners, and other weeks they came as single mums wanting time out while their partners were away.
Their kids had just left home and they were transitioning to being empty nesters. Love felt strange. As they looked across the table from each other they were no longer young, with the shape and vitality of young people. Was romance, dating and love something they could still engage with?
My role as maître d at Date Night is as important as my role on Sunday.
For me the table is as powerful as worship.
The table is an invitation to come and engage with the spiritual.
It is where time stops and real begins.
Where the veil comes off and I can begin to see into the heart of another.
I love the sound knives and forks clinking on plates, the hum of chatter.
The way champagne bubbles burst, hiss, chatter, babble, whisper and then fade away.
Candles flickering and flowers dancing.
The world slows and the real begins.
In this environment it is hard for us to keep our negative pronouncements on one another. For our hearts to remain hard, our fists curled and our mind harsh and hard.
Because at the table we stop seeing one another as different. We begin to see we are alike.
It is where, as the maître d, I can offer up a silent breath of prayer for a couple, where I can share a modern-day parable, or word of comfort or encouragement.
It is where I can encourage people to leave the busy, complex world they know and to simply step into the world of seeing and experiencing love’s warm embrace.
As I embrace this serving, hidden role, I find that miracles happen, healing occurs.
Mystery and love merge together and hearts arise closer, more connected.