I want to be a person who invites people into my life. I want to be the person when I look back, I can honestly answer, “I have never made the table about me or my agenda.”
If I were to be completely, utterly honest, I would say that I haven’t. I would say that I see people doing the stuff that I talk about, long for and I don’t do it. I over analyze it by making excuses, trying to figure out the rhythms of having young children and a house, which is really small for hosting.
I know what I want...it’s to open my home. But, many times I only want to open it to my friends. I don’t want to get to know people different from me. I don’t want to have to work through it, because I’m tired and I feel fake putting on a smile and asking questions, when in reality, “we will most likely not be good friends.”
It makes me sound so horrible and ugly.
There’s the flip side, because I find myself judging those people in the online space boasting of welcoming people to the table, and how “easy” it is. But, I see that they’re inviting their friends over, or it’s a picture of people who look just like them. You rarely see the break up of socioeconomic disparity in these pictures or stories.
And then, when the pictures are shown, it’s usually of a person like me (white, stay at home mom, upper middle class) “helping” the least, the lost. It puts an emphasis on our differences.
It’s times like these after I rambled on to Ben about my struggles where he is most likely to insert, “Kamille, you’re overthinking it.”
But, then I’m taken to Jesus.
I see the Lord’s Table. His words. His welcome. His humility. His love for all.
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”
The truth is I invite what others are doing, how they’re living, to dictate my response (if I allow it). I can even take someone sharing their good story to oppress myself. I begin seeing how I have failed on the measuring stick of hospitality and welcome to the table.
I am only given one example of welcome to the table, and it’s Jesus welcome. He didn’t lord over his greatness. He was both authority and power AND humility and meekness. He came to save the lost sheep of Israel, and when they were unwilling to listen, he went to the Gentiles.
I love this, because I can see how he didn’t overcomplicate the table.
This past weekend after attending Faith & Culture Writers Conference, I came away realizing how much I want in a Christian sub-culture I witness via social media. I want my words, my ideas to be noticed by this group. And then, in one fell swoop, I could see myself constructing my own Tower of Babel to get there.
And you know what?
It was miserable. I wasn’t free, but constricted. I lost sight of the fire God put in my belly when I began writing recipes and sharing stories here. I lost sight of who I have always been made to be.
There’s a lot of good things brewing inside me right now, and I can only accredit it to seeking Jesus.