A Seat at the Table

by - January 02, 2011

This morning, our good friend Thom preached on being the adopted and sons and daughters of God. The part of his talk that really grabbed me was his discussion on how we write ourselves off as undeserving, unwanted or less than at His table.

Several weeks back, I was dining at Magiano's with a group of women to celebrate my friend's birthday. There were sixteen of us laughing and talking as if we were the oldest of friends, and amazingly enough we managed to all agree on two appetizers, salads and main courses to share family style. Six months prior, I would have felt completely inferior and too socially inadequate to be out with this crowd. Many of these ladies are the "pretty girls" I have previously mentioned here and here, and while I thought they had written me off, the truth is, I had written myself off.

I've assumed that because I know the lyrics to DC Talk's "I don't want it" by heart, because I rarely wear makeup, because water and an occasional dab of dial soap is my facial cleanser of choice, because I walk and look like an oaf when I wear heels, because I am really terrible at small talk unless I have a glass of wine - but then start being rather lewd with two glasses of wine, because I am a VERY ugly crier and probably an ugly laugher as well, because I sometimes let a little gas slip, because I eat butter straight from the fridge, because most summer days I'm bent over in the dirt while simultaneously sharing a half-moon with the neighborhood, that I would never fit in except therein with people who shared my penchant for old-lady hobbies and kids' movies.

Sadly, this attitude of mine has either prevented or delayed the start of many friendships in my life. As I sat at the table, happily medicated for postpartum depression, I looked around at the smiling faces and felt okay. Some of these friends I had known for years, and ironically the friend I connected with the most in conversation that night was an absolutely gorgeous and big-hearted girl I'd only recently started a friendship with. If any of these girls had ever judged me, I doubt it was half as harshly as I had judged myself or them, sadly. Whether it was a lifetime of telling myself lies or whether it was the societal pressures from as early as childhood, I'd placed myself and others in categories and used those to judge, be judged and dictate the course of my life.

Going back to Thom's talk, I see that in the realm of God's Kingdom, it is not much different. I/we get it into our heads that children of God are suppose to act and talk a certain way, live in certain neighborhoods, go to certain schools, drink certain brands of coffee, and we forget that His table is an open potluck where we celebrate His amazing creativity by bringing back to the table the gifts he has bestowed to us. Instead of coming together and celebrating our adoption into His family, there is a whole group of us setting up tv trays in the adjacent room because we feel disconnected.

As God's children, what can we do about this? Talk. It seems simple, but I think often the most disconnected people are where they are because no one started a conversation with them. I had a friend recently express her frustration that it was so difficult to have a real conversation about life and doubts. It is as if we fear entertaining discussion about struggles might somehow chisel away at the shred of faith we are holding onto. As I've gotten to know those women at the dinner more through conversation, I've found they aren't that much different than me. We have common struggles and fears; one girl can even quote the entirety of "The Sandlot", my favorite movie of all time. As brothers and sisters, I think we'd find that we aren't as isolated in our thoughts as we believe.

It's wild that it takes something as crazy as PPD and the ensuing treatment to help me work through a lifetime of lies and insecurities. So here's my formal apology to all those I  have written off, including myself - I'm so sorry... let's be friends!

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4 comments

  1. Sex is a test but not when I'm pressed, so back up off with less of that zest. Impress this brother with a life of virtue, the innocence that's spent is gonna hurt you. Safe is the way they say to play, then again safe aint safe at all today. So just wait for the mate that's straight from God and don't have sex til you tie the knot!

    I prob messed up, but I think you know where I am going with this.

    I heart you.

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  2. I die. Oh how deep the rabbit hole goes with you.

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  3. You are stunning when you laugh! Your post made me cry. Beautiful honesty and insight. Thankful for you!

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  4. Thanks, Suzanne. I'm so blessed to have you in my life!

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