“One generation shall commend your works to another . . .” Psalm 145:4 (ESV).
I come from a long line of tea drinkers. Some of my earliest memories are of sharing a cup of tea with my mother and grandmother. And whenever anyone visits my home, the first thing I do is offer them a cup of tea.
I stopped in to see my daughter this week, and I chuckled out loud when my son-in-law told me that he had already boiled water for tea. It amused me to realize that I was successfully passing down the tradition of drinking tea to the next generation.
He handed me a basket filled with a variety of black, green and herb teas. I rummaged through the interesting choices and selected a “sweet and spicy” herb variety.
“So what’s the big deal about a cup of tea?” you may be wondering. “And what does this have to do with Psalm 145:4?”
I will let you in on a secret I didn’t discover until I was well into adulthood. It was never about the tea.
When I was a child and my mother would make us Cambric tea, she was pausing to take time out of her hectic day to relax for a few moments with her children. When I would come home from college, or back from Maryland during the three and a half years we lived there, it was over a cup of tea that my mother and I would catch up on what was going on in each other’s lives. It was over a cup of tea during my adult life that Mom would offer me her carefully selected words of wisdom. And it was over a cup of tea that I pumped my mother for one more piece of advice, for one more family story.
In the same way, my daughters have many memories of our tea parties. “Pretty Elizabeth,” “Sara Cecelia,” “Chelsea Rose,” and “Clara Bella” would relax on our front porch drinking out of miniature china cups and eating tiny treats as we played and laughed together. And a couple of times a year, when we were sure that big brother and father were going to be out of the house, my daughters and I would invite neighborhood, school, and church friends and their mothers over for a tea party.
It is over a cup of tea that my young adult children and I talk about college, jobs, vacations, and projects. It is over a cup of tea that we have cried over break-ups and grieved the loss of family members. It is over a cup of tea that I remind them how God is working in our lives, and I assure them that I am praying for them.
On this particular April day, I held my mug in both hands, enjoying the warmth and the fragrant aroma of my tea as I laughed with my daughter and son-in-law about our April Fool’s Day snowstorm, chatted about my daughter’s upcoming move, and talked about her role as makeup and wardrobe artist in a short movie that will be filmed next week.
My tea was gone long before I was ready to let go of the moment, so I went for a second cup. Between sips of tea, we talked about the two churches where they play worship music on Sunday mornings, and we planned our Resurrection Sunday celebration.
Some of the most meaningful and memorable conversations in my life have taken place over a cup of tea.
Psalm 145:4 reminds me to be intentional with these precious inter-generational moments we have. “One generation shall commend your works to another . . .” Psalm 145:4 (ESV)
We usually assume this verse is meant for the older generation passing faith on to younger generations, but it can go both ways. What a joy it is to see grandchildren uplifting their grandparents. And I am so blessed by the encouragement given me by my adult children.
Maybe tea isn’t your thing. But I hope you have your own traditions that cause you to slow down and take the time to have meaningful God-honoring conversations with the older and younger generations in your life.