The forgotten art of the table

I have a friend who dreams of a table. It is long and could fit many around it. She dreams of the conversations and moments that could take place around it’s edges and the memories it could hold as it sits awaiting people to come and sit and be.

In Scripture the table is always a metaphor for blessing. We experience God setting a table before us in the presence of our enemies in Psalm 23. And Jesus washes the disciples feet as they recline at the table. So many great conversations and moments take place around a table. Who knew a slab of wood and four legs could be the conduit for so much beauty.

I love to host dinner parties. I see amazing things take place when people break bread together. A friend of mine was once angry with me as I was so frustrated with my inability to do more and invite more people over to the house. She said sternly, “you can’t save the world around your kitchen table!” I told her then and when we speak of that moment she agrees with me now, that most definitely the world can be transformed around a dinner table. It is a sacred place. A place where magic happens, stories are told and lives are transformed.

If I had to summarize much of the beauty of the last year, I’d have to say it was found at the table. I’ve sat with strangers and friends old and new as we’ve exchanged stories and lives at the table.

The table is a very human place to find ourselves. It is a place of common ground and common experience and in a world where common experience is too often had virtually, the table, for me has become even more sacred. It has become a place where human meets human as we share in a very human act to eat. We break bread, share wine and speak of life around the table. We pause to notice story and to tell it. The air is filled with the emotion of humanity and it is powerful.

As many have forgotten their kitchen and dining room tables to sit around the family room with the TV on, we once again short change one another. We dehumanize one another as though we are saying, subtly though it be, that our stories are not worth hearing or sharing.

If you’ve covered your table, if you don’t have one, if you’ve not used it or it’s become a place for laundry, mail and other items, go clean it off and invite over 5 friends and change the world! Their stories await being told!!!

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