a table for grace . . .

It’s not much. Just an old table with two even older chairs. I spied them alongside Hwy. 70 while winding my way home from my annual run to the eye doctor. My U-turn came as no surprise to my eldest son who made the trek with me; after twenty-four years of being my child, he’s grown accustomed to my motherly whims. After all, he needed this collection of not much.

A table for grace. A table for my boys.

“Think of the meals once shared there, Nick. The stories told there. The tears cried there. The prayers uttered there. Think of them, son, when you and your brother find your places around this table in coming days.”

And there it lingered between us – our thoughts about coming days and about how a table for grace might just be the thing to keep our family together, even though our paths are diverging.

Grace tables are keeping tables because grace tables are framed upon firm foundations. What is built there (through meals, stories, tears, and prayers) is enough to write a history and fortify its remembrance. Hearts are shaped, beliefs are forged, memories are collected, and sins are forgiven at a table for grace. It’s where we do some of our best work as human beings. Why?

Because when we sit down at the table with others, we lean our hearts, minds, and souls toward understanding. We extend reciprocity. We offer respect. We lend grace. Tables cry out for such generosity. To deny them this possibility is to live underprivileged. Who wants to live like that? I certainly don’t, and as the mother of two cherished and adored, grown sons, I must extend this privilege due them.

And so, I made a U-turn on Hwy. 70, did some negotiating, and came home with two chairs and a table for grace. I know something of its value, even though my boys have yet to bow their heads in thanks around it. That will come for them and for the four of us they leave behind; of this I am certain.

As a family, we love the table for grace. We didn’t just discover it. As far as we know, it’s always been . . . long before any of us made entrance into this world. A keeping table built on a firm foundation that will outlast our earthly occupancy and that will carry us forward into our eternal one.

Think of the meals shared there, friends. The stories told there. The tears cried there. The prayers uttered there. Think of it all – God’s all – when you find your place around a table for grace in coming days. God’s children (the ones who await our arrival at the heavenly banqueting table) understand the value of such meals. They no longer live under their privilege. Instead, they live inside of it, surrounded by grace and keeping company with the King.

A table for grace. A worthy U-turn. An everlasting history.

Would you take time to live your privilege this week? Find a table and find a loved one. Share a meal and write rich history together. Grace is waiting to meet you as you arrive. As always . . .

Peace for the journey,

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14 Responses to a table for grace . . .

  1. Elaine, this post spoke to my heart. I feel overwhelmed with God’s grace this morning. I may have not commented often in the past, but your posts have encouraged me a lot lately. May God bless you!

    • I’m so glad you’ve found your way here, Amy. May God’s great love surround you and minister deeply to your heart this day. Shalom.

  2. Enjoyed my friend’s table of grace on Tuesday… she in need of a favor…my having the knowledge to help her…but before the work was accomplished, she made a Jamaican lunch for me and we praised God for his providence… there’s a picture on Fb…tit for tat. 🙂

  3. Elaine, one of the favorite things our family uses our table for is playing games together. It’s where we write some of our history, our family lore.

    May God continue to carry you through this season of change for your family!

    • Great idea, Cheryl! Once I can find my table top again (and the games) we’ll add this to our family routine!

  4. I so look forward to that ultimate table of grace….where Jesus Himself is our host and we are His adoring guests. A post full of grace, my friend.

  5. Precious friend…cried all through this post. Our family “table of grace”, in a home for 45 years, moved on to a young university student just recently, as I’ve continued the task of clearing out my parent’s home. I am going to send this writing to her. I pray it will stir both her own reflection and her own resolution to continue the stories of grace and the receiving of His grace around this simple table and chairs. Tears flow as the memories flood my heart, and part of me wishes I’d kept the table around which so many meals were shared…physical feeding, but even more, spiritual feasting during “Family Worship” and prayer times. Stories of God’s love, through the reading of His Word at that table, as well as stories by personal experience of God’s faithfulness to our family…cherishing those times even now.

    Thank you Elaine for the pause you gave my heart. I have a wonderful heritage. Thankful for His table of grace that continues to serve bountiful portions to this unworthy, but forever thankful child of grace.

    Humbly His,
    Daughter of grace,

    • That table, sweet friend, holds the memories of grace. It will speak loudly to this young heart, even when her words are few.

  6. I often wonder what that abandoned homestead could tell me. Or the old farmhouse in the field or boarded up house in the neighborhood. So many stories of good times and bad times . . . So much I could learn from them. If only they could talk.

  7. As I was reading about your table of grace, I felt sad that so many families no longer share meals together around a table. Too often children receive their breakfast in the car on the way to school. I ask the children in my class what they eat for dinner and often it’s out at a restaurant. I think there’s so much missing for families who don’t sit and share a meal together as a family. Growing up that was one thing I could always count on.

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