Do you ever have one of those nights where you just want it to be ok that you’ve not planned anything for dinner? Me neither. I always have a piping hot meal waiting for Jason when he gets home from work…
Actually, quite the opposite. I love to cook, but I don’t love to cook under pressure, or when I feel like a sous chef because certain babes (who used to eat anything I’d put in front of them) are now going through varying phases of dislike or disgust at the dinner table. Still, I’m a pretty big proponent of making sure we do gather around said table, even on the off days when the meal I’ve prepared is overly simple or not to everyone’s taste.
I meant what I said the other day when I shared about my gramma and her ability to gather people around a meal, ordinary or elaborate. It wasn’t the table that called us, but the fact that it was her table and that we were her guests. Some tables are just like that.
As we continue to gather people we love around a meal here at home, I am always amazed at what happens when family and strangers sit together over food. I love to provide a space for that, but I also love to join others in spaces that have opened up to me.
The best part of invitation is the heart exchange that happens when one person extends him or herself to another, and the other accepts. It is a soul-changing thing on both ends–to be invited, and to experience welcome.
Tonight, Jason and I had the privilege of entering into a beautifully prepared space because we said “yes” to an invitation–not just an invitation for a meal, but one to engage with others where our hearts and what God might want to do in our hearts collide. There’s no perfect way to articulate this kind of exchange…it’s just something that happens when we have the honor of saying “yes” to another. Hearts open. Doors open. Holy things take shape that we can’t yet see and may not ever fully know this side of eternity.
I am full tonight, not only because we shared a meal with others around a table, but because we said “yes” and others said “yes,” and the result was a humbling ripple effect that will no doubt carry into all of our days tomorrow as we think about what we saw and heard and shared together.
My worlds collided this evening in a way I can’t entirely describe, but that I want to remember for a long time to come. I was reminded again that this life we’re living is so richly full, that we cannot see each other unless we really see each other, and that doing life together can be as simple as sitting down together around a table (but that it’s so much more than that, too).
Sometimes, we have to break out of the dinner routine to realize we’re craving something better. Sometimes, we have to break out of comfort zones to discover God has something more than the usual in store.
We can’t receive the blessings of an invitation unless we accept the invitation for ourselves and extend it to others. Then, when our tables are full of people we love and our stomachs are full of food, our eyes might open up the intense beauty of our surroundings, making room for our hearts and spirits to open up widely as well.
After a night like tonight, it suddenly feels like Christmas for all of the right reasons (and I couldn’t be happier about it)!
grace around your tables as you invite and open yourselves up to invitation,