Wednesday 29 March 2006

Together Alone

So I'm sitting in Moda tonight drinking a latte and reading a book. As usual I glance around from time to time just to see what's happening. Nothing much.

Then I noticed something different. You know how you only really notice things when they've changed or are different or out of place? Well sitting around me at tables or on sofas were small groups of people, in two or threes, drinking coffee or eating a meal while chatting and laughing together. All normal, expected sights and sounds. But it was the couple sitting opposite me that caught my attention. They were probably in their mid-twenties. She had a couple of bags from shopping and he was wearing a tie. They must have arrived just before me because they were ordering some food as I was taking a seat on the sofa that has been broken for at least four weeks. Here's why I noticed them. Apart from placing and then changing their order I hardly heard or saw them talk anymore. They just seemed to sit and eat their meal together alone.

I thought this was kind of sad.

They didn't seem to be upset or angry with each other. They just didn't seem to talk much. Now I'm not one for great communication skills, but I wished the guy had at least asked the girl how her meal was or offered her a taste of his.

I like the idea in post-modern theology that seeks to find something sacred in sharing a meal with people. It's so much more than just eating food. It's about being in community, in common union, in communion.

Some churches share bread and wine as powerful symbols of Christ's death. In our form of church we like to share a meal and seek the presence of God in this common act.

God help me to never let people feel alone when I am with them.