The mercy gift of making room at the table <3

One evening last week our daughter had prearranged for Graham’s baseball team to stop at a nearby Culver’s after an out of town game. Since it was a day I was helping with after-school, I got to tag along with the three younger siblings and our girl. 

As orders were placed in a very crowded lobby, the kids and parents made their way out to the patio seating. The first boys gathered around one of the tables and then as more appeared, they squished together three to a bench. 

There were only a couple of players left to arrive by my count and my heart got a little sick thinking how these last two would be alone at the table nearby.

But no. 

The first of these late comers arrived and we heard him ask, “Is there room for me?” 

And the immediate response was more squeezing together and then one voice came out of the melee and responded, “There is always room for one more.” 

I don’t know who the kid was who said it, but God bless him. 

I couldn’t even look at Rachel to see of she had heard. No one would have understood the sudden tears that surely would have spilled if we had made eye contact. 

Because at the ripe old age of nearly twelve, our boy has been excluded from a table or two. We have wept and loved him through rejection, and we have held our own wounded hearts up for help to forgive.

This was like a lovingly wrapped gift from God dropped into our laps. 

And just as the pain of the rejection wounded Graham and all of us who love him, the joy of acceptance heals and restores us along with him. 


On Sunday, Pastor Brian preached on the Woman at the Well. 

He opened the sermon with his own testimony, which most of us who have known him for a long time already know. 

He didn’t grow up going to church and as he struggled in high school with fitting in (which blows me away, because he is such a funny and great guy, but we know how weird high school cliques can be and often it’s the nicest people who just float on the outskirts of the main groups), he got invited to a Wednesday night event at church by a friend. 

When he got his tray of food for the dinner, he was invited to sit at a table that was already full. The kids shared chair space and he sat on half a seat to eat his dinner and the impact of being included like that was the beginning of his following Jesus. 

I don’t know who those kids were, but God bless them. 

God bless the eleven year old boy the other night who hopefully will always say there is room for one more, and God bless the teens back a few decades ago who invited the man who is now our pastor to sit at their table. 

God bless the ones who don’t mind making room and being a little uncomfortable with sharing space with someone who needs to be welcomed. 

Because not only did you bless that one who you welcomed in, you blessed so many others you don’t even know about. 

I thank God for the people who have made my people feel loved and included. I pray blessings over them for the gift of joy they have given to me. 

And I pray to follow the example. I pray to be like this, for this is to be like Jesus. 

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