... in endless cups of tea

Published on 22 Feb 2020
A woman holding a cup of tea

The British have an outstanding tradition that if someone is upset in any way we make them a cup of tea. I, for one, will not knock this important, if bizarre, ceremony. 

Tea has for many come to symbolise the opening up of dialogue in workplaces or at home. 'Would you like a cup of tea?' is a question which can mean 'would you like to talk to me/let me talk to you about how my day is going?' It can also provide much needed hydration (or dehydration if you drink too much) when one is working hard.

I remember many years ago a friend came to stay at my family home during the university holidays, with a big essay due (or it may have been a dissertation, in fact) and my mother made her what seemed like endless cups of tea. She also provided a plate of biscuits, the entirety of which disappeared. I wouldn't suggest for a moment that cups of tea (or entire plates of biscuits) are a solution to most of our problems... not at all.  

The point is though, that my mother set me an amazing example. Whenever I feel like my acts of kindness go unnoticed, and develop a chip on my shoulder, I remember times when people have engaged in these extraordinary acts of everyday love. I think of Mary, Jesus' mother, and of Martha of course, but I also remember Jesus, who washed his disciples feet, and when they had come back from a long night's fishing made them breakfast on the shore of Galilee.