Reader Response: Tea and Soul Care

Tea matters
. The responses from readers on tea gave personal pictures from Laos to Pakistan to South Africa of what tea means and why tea matters. All the comments were rich with memory and feeling, but I’ve picked one that spoke to my soul today. It’s one of the reasons I love blogging – I am the recipient of wisdom and challenges through reader comments. I have turned this one comment into a post and pray that it will speak to your soul the way it spoke to mine.“Tea and Soul Care”  is penned by Ruthie McCurry Dutton, a former class mate from Murree. We reconnected this past year through Facebook and blogging and it makes me want to see her again in person and share a cup of tea.  Ruthie has lived a nomadic life and offers a glimpse of her life in this piece.

Tea–my “go-to” for every occasion and metaphor for qualities that I find important. Tea meant comfort and happiness in my early memories of Pakistan: sweet and milky, sitting in my beloved nanny’s lap; a strong brew capping off my first exciting day at boarding school; the mad rush at break, when I was finally old enough to get my tea from the hole-in-the-wall stall across the road.

As a newly married bride, my mother-in-law introduced me to ritual and reverence through the very rare occasions when we used her exquisite collection of bone china cups. We carefully warmed the pot while boiling the water. We added just the right amount of leaves and waited patiently for it to steep. Aaaah….the perfect cup.

When life and ministry took me to the frontiers of Laos, I traded delicate cups for floral- patterned china mugs each one unique. They reminded me to look for the beauty all around me—be it the landscape or in the variety of people with whom I shared a cup. Each person and scene had a beauty of their own to be savored and appreciated.

In my newly nomadic life, a delicate china mug accompanies me. I love sipping from it as I share the pre-dawn hours with Jesus. This delicate mug, so easily chipped, reminds me of the importance of soul care. Each reverent sip is an in-pouring of the Holy Spirit, a source of strength for what my day brings. Now, instead of my beloved nanny, I feel the warm embrace of Abba Father.

Crossing both the globe and the span of time tea remains my constant companion, its symbolism and meaning growing and changing. For today it means warmth and comfort, sacred ritual, unique beauty, and God’s goodness. Life is richer over a cup of tea.

6 thoughts on “Reader Response: Tea and Soul Care

  1. I loved this post. Yes an amazing read and woman. I love good china. Cant always afford it or find it but I love it. yes I like to find a nice pretty floral cup to drink my morning tea from.
    in 1998 we were in Zimbabwe and we stayed at a B&B. it was a beautiful little house owned by an old couple, on a pine filled hill, which sloped off to a little stream below.
    The couple were well travelled and their drawing room was filled with bric a brac and curios from everywhere. They even had a spinning wheel. On a wall they had a square frame with little squares and these were filled with the most beautiful cups and saucers of different designs; survivors of the tea sets they owned though their lives. i really loved that, somehow it spoke to my heart. i dream of having one myself. Of all the pretty things man makes precious china is what I love most. i often browse on sites of collectibles and sigh over things.
    I love the last part, that sees so much meaning into a cup of tea.


    1. I don’t know how I missed this comment Pari – but love what you have said. I love china cups as well …. a love passed on to me from my Mum. “Tea tastes different in them” she says and I believe. Some day I hope to drink tea with you from china cups. How fun would that be?!


  2. Marilyn thanks for talking “TEA”. Ruthie speaks from my heart when she states, “Life is richer over a cup of tea.” Tea has accompanied me always. A high tea elevates the gathering among friends — spiritually and emotionally. Jacqueline and I love to shop at Teavana — a store offering a tea or combination of teas for everything. Jacqueline knows one of the greatest gifts is sharing a cup of tea with me. Brewing tea is an art allowing one to reminisce about life — a divine intervention. Petra


    1. Yes to a divine intervention. I can picture you and Jacqueline having tea together. What a gift. May you have tea this weekend before Phoenix gets too warm and the tea needs ice.


      1. Marilyn, I drink hot tea all year (heat or no heat). The hotter the better. Matter of fact, we went to Teavana this afternoon and purchased a wonderful tea to combat allergies and sinus problems. Petra


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