In the Bible, Jesus is pretty radical about who He invites to the table. Tax collectors? Sure. Outcasts?! Absolutely. Sinners? He has a place at the table for every single one of them. He always has room or makes room, and always makes sure that when his children sit with Him, that they’re counted as family.
I feel like that means a lot more to me simply because of what I do. I work at a coffee shop (surprise, surprise), but I feel like my days are filled with grabbing cream for coffee and taking food orders. Nevertheless, I spend my days watching people sit at tables and do life together. They come in and spill their guts over our lattes and bring their moms to us because “gosh she just has to try this salad!” and oh my stars it makes my heart so happy because I just love watching people love on each other.
But there’s a very real lesson I’ve learned while working where I work: there’s a huge difference between serving the table and being invited to sit at the table.
I love that I get to talk to so many cool people everyday, but the number of times that I truly get invited into someone’s life is very small in comparison to the number of times that I’m used as an item of convenience. There are a large number of days where I run around feeling like Cinderella, cleaning tables for people and taking orders and making sure no one feels obligated to even get themselves salt or pepper… and I’ve seen this start to sneak into my identity. I’ve started to see myself as nothing more than my usefulness, as if who I am is only wanted (or worthwhile) when I’m giving something away or when I’m needed to make someone else’s life easier.
But then I started meditating on one of my very favorite stories, a story in 2 Samuel 9 that speaks truth to my lie-laden heart.
In 2 Samuel 9, King David is looking to find a member of Saul’s family. Because David loved Jonathan (Saul’s son and David’s bff), David wanted to show the kindness of the Lord to any living relative he could find. David eventually finds Jonathan’s son, a man named Mephibosheth, who’s lame in both feet. David talks to Mephibosheth’s servant, gives him back all of his family’s land, and then invites him to always eat at his table.
I love this story because the kindness of the Lord doesn’t stop at merely providing for Mephibosheth. King David doesn’t just give him back his family’s land and make sure that the servants work it, though that would have been kind enough. He makes sure that Mephibosheth dines with himself, the king!!!, always. ALWAYS!
“So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table like one of the king’s sons… And Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, because he always ate at the king’s table; he was lame in both feet.” 2 Samuel 9:11,13
The Lord’s love for Mephibosheth sought him out, provided for him, moved him, and made him family. Every single day he was invited into the king’s presence… and ya know what? He wasn’t there to be the help. He wasn’t there because David needed someone else to get hot sauce for his omelette or refill his coffee cup. He was there because he was wanted there, and not because he was in any way useful to the king… in fact, he couldn’t even walk! Mephibosheth, without the ability to adequately serve the king, was a treasured member of the king’s household, counted as one of his sons. And the cherry on top is that there, sitting in the seat at the table, no one could even tell that he was lame in both feet. There at the table, Mephibosheth fit in every bit as much as David’s blood family.
Friends, how many times do we forget that we are Mephibosheth? We are beloved family members of a King that wants nothing more than to daily invite us into His presence and sit us down at His table. I find myself day in and day out trying to make myself useful for Jesus the same way I try to make myself useful for others… forgetting that He doesn’t expect me to meet His needs, as if He isn’t the God of all creation! Rather, he sees me, a “dead dog” as Mephibosheth calls himself, and sits me at the table where I look just as pure and righteous as His blood-born Son.
I (and my bff Kaylee) thought this would be the concept on which I would build my blog… and I feel like this is a good introduction to who I am and where I am with my life and my heart. Everyday I long to remember that my identity is defined by Jesus and Jesus alone… because even though I’m treated as an item of convenience by the world, I’m still Jesus’s precious baby girl, bought at a price and loved beyond measure regardless of my performance. And every single day I want to live my life at the table with Jesus. On the good days and bad days and confusing days (because that’s everyday lately) I want to run to His Word and promises and goodness, and I want to invite you to do it with me. I want you to know that yes, you are always invited to my table (so feel free to reach out), but more importantly that you always have a place at the table with Jesus, are always wanted by Jesus, and are always defined by who Jesus says you are… and praise Him that none of those things will never change.
All my love,