Come to the table. We come to the table. We come to the table on a slow winter morning. We come to the table of body. We come to the table of mind. We come to the table of Spirit. We comewith both realized and unrealized hope. We come with our abilities and our disabilities. We come to the table with a fleeting awareness that both are our blessing.
But what is it, as we sit at the table, that makes us want to hide whatever might be broken in us? What is it that when we scoot our chair up to the table that we pull in our hearts for fear of being exposed, seen fully, revealed somehow?
We come to the table trailing with us some old voice that cuesus to be cautious, to present only our best selves, not the all of us. We come to the table of a new dawn, a new song, or wordless prayer. We come to the table and looking across from where we sit we see a small garden or maybe it’s a field of humanity. We look into their faces, we share their lives or maybe they are strangers.
And what do we see past their color, their cloths, their straight posture or their downcast eyes, what do we see between their chatter, laughter, droning on about who knows what? What do we see? We see that they too have come to the table. If you look with open eyes you’ll see light coming outof the corners of their mouths or maybe out of their frayed cuffs or from the part of their hair. You’ll see light pushing out, flowing out, billowing from those places that have been broken — those places where life was hard, where hearts were dashed or maybe you’ll see loss deeper than a well. Or maybe you’ll see those places of dire doubt, hopelessness that has no breath.
These places — all those places of living — those hard places that have made us who we are as we pull our seat up to the table, as we look across at one face or a thousand, as we see once again the light pouring out of those broken place, as we arbitrate with ourselves the bitter sweet of life. And still we get tripped up in thinking it is only the strong, the sweet, the whole, the untarnished, the victor who should come to the table — only the worthy deserve a place, deserve this place and that place at the table. And again and again we are granted the great reprieve as we are invited again to the table and again our barricades of silence and shame fall away as we once again and once again look across and see the purest warmest light shining through the wounds of others — that light that illuminates our humanity that reminds us that we are on the same road, that we sit at the same table.
There is no victory or loss in this moment, there is only the magnificence of humanity – the heart, the equal footing, the irrepressiblelight we bring to the table, share at the table, where brokennessand wholeness are two sides of the same coin — not better not worse but both exuding light. Light to see or be seen. Light that soothes your furrowed brow that holds you and holds you for a moment after that.
Come to the table to know once again and again we are each other’s keepers.
Come to the table of new beginnings. Come to the table in a morning in February. Come to the table of possibilities. Come to the table and be embraced. Better yet, embrace the soft light that shines through your own brokennessthis is where love lives — not the love you think you know but the love that sits in you and across from you.
Come to the table and look back, think back on those people who have unwaveringly held your heart in their hands — were they the invincible, the geniuses, the ones whose lives seemed perfectly poised, powerful, indomitable or is the one that held you the one that allowed the gems of their humanity, their failings, fears, their hope, grace, pain and sweet joys — the one that allowed you to allow them, that gave to you so you could give to them.
As you pull your chair up to the table raise your eyes so others can see your whole self. The beauty you are. The beauty you do. The beauty that has grown out of your brokenness. Let them see the God-light coming out of your life wounds, your fears and uncertainty. Their eyes will be there to meet you. To gather you up, to glory in your strength and brokenness that now billows out of the breath of who you are becoming and pours out across this table, that table, life’s table to embrace and be embraced.
We don’t have time to secretaway our failings. We don’t have the energy to deny the continents of who we are. We only have now. We only have this table before us. We only have the fabric of ourselves to bring to the table to embrace our faithfulness. We only have the all of our light coming out of every wound and every hallelujah to hold those sitting across from us.
Let light shine through your shame, pain, secrets, wounds — let these have a breath and watch it all turn to a vibrant love, a vibrant living as the person sitting across from you raises their eyes and finds repose in yours. Come to the table. Come to the table, bring your whole self so that your whole self can be held, so that the all of you can hold others. Together we come to the table and look with wonder at the light shining out from the cracks and tears of our humanity. Look, see this tender sweet light coming through the rents in the darkness. Come to the table. Come to the table — bring the all of who you are.