Why Stories & Storytelling Are Important in Hospitality

It was the morning of April 15th, 2006. The day our dear friends, Joe & Rachel were getting married.  Ben and I were at our other dear friend's home, Derrick & Biz.  What would seem like any ordinary day...was something much more sacred & holy. 

It was a miss match of old college friends gathering around a meal, sharing stories, enjoying life & laughter.  College was a special time for me as I found more of God's voice and the community of friends I made helped me in finding it, too. 

And here we were again, reuniting over a meal. Not just reminiscing of how life was before; but, more importantly, how life currently stood.

I took a mental picture.  I saved it and filed it away.  I marked it...like I said, as “sacred.” 

I still remember the smells, the food, the way the light reflected on that Spring day. I knew that I might not ever get a day like that again...with these people...that is, until heaven. I would get to feast with them again, someday.

The Importance of Stories & Storytelling in Hospitality & the Table

It's stories like this, which remind me why storytelling is crucial to hospitality & life at the table.  You could be dining at a five-star restaurant with friends; yet, if there is no conversation, no stories, then the meal (even if it was prepared by Thomas Keller himself) would taste a bit bland. It's no wonder when people stir up food memories, many point back to childhood, specific moments where there were stories being served in big white, homey bowls.

In native cultures, there is a village storyteller/historian who retells the communities' stories; as well as, some mythical & folklore ones.  These stories remind the people of the tribe/village of who they are, where they came from and guides them as to where they are going. 

Storytelling in America isn't completely lost; yet, there is an element missing amongst it's people.

I want to be a part in redeeming this lost art. A table filled with stories is essential to the growth of it's inhabitants (be it a family, roommates, couples, friends, guests over). My hope is that you would walk away with a sense of empowerment to know your story, tell your story, listen to others stories, and help others find their story. The sharing of our stories is what distinguishes humans from the rest of the animal world.  Let's not stifle this great gift we have been given...let's share them around the tables we find ourselves.

Telling stories and giving room for storytelling is essential in the giving of hospitality.  What do you think?


This is Part 1 of 3 posts on what Redeeming the Table is about.  If you haven't subscribed to Redeeming the Table, make sure you do, because I would love to hear your stories and share them with others.

Coming Next...Part 2: Redeeming the Table & Hospitality´╗┐