Last Tea

By Miss Janet L. Hughes

In a moment of darkness and near silence it happens.  Where others find fear and apprehension, I find comfort and wonder.  I’m alone, but I do not stand alone.  A timeless cloud of witnesses have stood silently in the glow of a fire, warmed by flames, waiting for that moment when all is ready.

Winter’s chill invading my home drives me to this moment.  All the house is clothed in darkness save only the glow of the stove light. My flame of fire is the ember orange of the spiral coil.  The kettle whispers softly, the tea leaves are at the ready, and my richly hued mug waits patiently with me.

In the waiting it happens.  Wonder commences.  Did Alan ever wonder as he stood in silence for his cup of tea as I stand now?  I ponder the extravagance of clear, clean water, and fire coming to me through the wires from a force I cannot see or hold. What did it take to grow the tea leaves, prepare, and transport them?  How far have they traveled to meet me here?  Who knew my mug before me?  What stories could it tell me of its adventures?  What moments of mine could it give testimony?  Did my favorite tea snob ever have moments like this where wonder seized him as he waited for his cup of tea?

My soul knows all is from my Creator.  I have heard the simple call of common grace, the grace of the everyday afforded to all, those who believe and those who don’t.  I try to comprehend all that my Creator involved to work this simple cup of tea.  I decide this common grace is not so simple.  Did Alan contemplate these things as I do now?  Strange that this cup to tea causes me pain of grief for Alan.

The kettle is ready.  I warm my hands around the mug as the leaves are steeping.  Did Alan realize that cup of tea which would be his last?  Did his illness afford him room to contemplate his moments of last times?  Is this that I hold in my hands my last cup of tea?  Is this that moment that never again begins for me?