To keep you out, to keep me in, to keep it safe
Oh, the sense of my own self-entitlement
To say who's wrong, who won't belong, who cannot stay
Cause somebody somewhere decided
We'd be better off divided
And somehow, despite the damage done--
He says, 'Come...'
Ever since I was a young child, I have always loved the image of huge, rustic banquet table. Yes, I love feasting!...but it is more that that--I love the picture of a table where no one is turned away. All are welcome, no one is cramped, and the wine and bread overflow. A celebration in its entirety.
My boys--Cole, especially--must have inherited this deep longing that I have for the fellowship and comraderie that reside in a banquet with food and room for all. He occasionally dreams aloud about the table in heaven and tries to estimate how long it must be! I love this because I believe that God's heart is for us to care less about determining where exactly all the little boundaries and differences between us lie, and instead to reach out, to love, to break bread together and live life in community.
Oh, the times when I have failed to recognize
How many chairs are gathered there around the feast
To break the bread and break these boundaries
That have kept us from our only common ground
The invitation to sit down
If we will come
There is room enough for all of us
And the arms are open wide enough
And our parts are never greater than the sum
This is the heart of the One
Who stands before an open door
And bids us 'Come'
I feel sometimes in this life like a child back in the schoolyard, hoping not to be picked last and feeling an ache in my heart for the one that is. Do we ever really outgrow this yearning to be welcomed into the fold? There have been too many times in my life--even as an adult--when I have been insensitive and uncaring to those waiting on the periphery for an invitation to be let in. There have been just as many times that I have waited, myself, for that invitation. The idea of a banquet table--my Lord's banquet table!--where there is a seat reserved for me, a glass of wine waiting in anticipation for my arrival, and One standing at the door to usher me in--well, it is almost more than I can bear. I can't think of anything greater than to be welcomed to the table of He who created the universe. I am absolutely humbled and terrifyingly overwhelmed.
Justin made me a table for Christmas.
It is seven feet long.
The table we have been using seats four comfortably. Four, and we are six...without any company! The new table is fashioned out of Justin's childhood table (in the middle, made of solid maple) and my childhood table (solid oak, cut in two and added to the ends). I cried and cried when I saw it. Not just because it is a "bigger table", but because it is a deep representation to me of the things God has been teaching me the last several years about having a truly welcoming and joyful spirit towards the people he brings my way--without reservation. It is the two of us, made better and stronger as one. It takes what was inadequate and makes it into something overflowing with purpose and life. God's provision for me abounds, and each time I am stretched, I experience more and more of his blessing. And as hard as it as gotten, that blessing is still so good, at its core, that I am absolutely unable to turn away and try it on my own! I am completely captivated by this life he has chosen for me.
There is room enough!
Thank you, Justin, for walking this journey with me, and for a gift that meets a need and speaks to my heart. It is functional and beautiful! I love every bit of it.