Have you ever felt like you don’t fit in, belong, or have a “seat at the table”? In other words, you feel safer remaining on the outside, and as an outsider.
Although, there is a deep longing for acceptance, affirmation, and validation, the hope for such things seem too dangerous. So, in an attempt to keep our hopes grounded, and our potential wounds to a minimum, we accept distance.
I know these feelings all too well. Yet, I once participated in an exercise that invited me to take my “seat at the table”. To join and be a part of the group there, and to receive and know I was welcome, wanted, and belonged.
It was a powerful moment when I realized simultaneously how I both longed for such truth to be spoken to me, but also just how strong my resistance to it was. It was hard for me to believe, and step into – scary even.
Ultimately, courage is required to step into our vulnerability. Addressing and facing our fears head on, and identifying the root(s) of our fears. And our desires.
We can be inclined to fear goodness, desire, and longing, because the pains we have felt and the rejections we have received drown our hearts. They keep us in isolation, and from receiving truth.
The truth is in Christ and knowing we always have a seat at His table. We belong, we are valued. We are affirmed. We are good. We are loved. This is hard for many of us to believe for its much easier to hold onto how bad we are – how unworthy – how shameful.
Then why did Jesus come? What of His sacrifice, His blood, His death, His resurrection? Are we a new creation? Are we washed clean? Are we now seen by God as welcome, as His children, as His image bearers? Do we not have a welcome seat at His family table, as beloved members of His family? Jesus did this, does this, and affirms this.
Such powerful confirmation of truth, paves the way for us to live out our days here on earth without the fears that serve to isolate us. We can enter knowing we belong here. We have a voice and a purpose here. We are loved beyond measure, and we can dare to be kind people, who anger without aggression, and offer genuine safety to others.
We are to be such safe places fueled by truth and love, and who willingly and warmly invite and save seats for others to join us at the table.