Don’t stop meeting together with other believers, which some people have gotten into the habit of doing. Instead, encourage each other, especially as you see the day drawing near. Hebrews 10:25
There’s a place I know, maybe you’ve been there too. And centered in that place, there’s something we all gather around regularly though not nearly as much as we used to. If I close my eyes I can hear chairs scraping back and the clink of spoons stirring sugar or cream. I can hear dishes rattling and greetings of welcome. Mind you, it’s not the actual table that makes the magic happen, it’s the incredible women around it. Maybe what you have is a rickety old card table with wobbly legs, or one well used with scars from years of dinners served and children’s crayons gone astray. Maybe it’s even one that’s polished and reserved for the best company. It’s not the table that matters anyway.
What sets this table apart from others is that Jesus is always the guest of honor. And at His table there’s always room for one more. At this table love and grace are served up in healthy portions; they flow as freely as the coffee and tea. At this table you never have to worry about saying the wrong thing. This is a table where Jesus is. I know it, because I have seen Him there, reflected in the easy laughter and love on each face.
Another thing about this table is that you never have to worry you’ll be given that “look” you know the one I mean, the one I call the “up and down.” I bet you have been the recipient of this a time or too, and yes, sometimes in church. It’s like they’re trying to decide whether you’re suitable enough to join their congregation. No, at this table there is room for imperfection, in fact it is encouraged. More often than not, conversation will flow around what was done wrong during the past week than what was done right.
Sometimes things stay on track and all the questions in the study are answered, but sometimes people get to talking and laughing about something that happened during the week and they only get to question 3. And then, sometimes a deep need is sensed and someone has an opportunity to unload the burden they walked in with. Here at this table, a hurting soul is never ignored and burdens carried in need never be carried out.
When we hold our heartaches and cares up to the Light in prayer together they become small in the shadow of the Cross.
These women I know, and maybe you know them too, are not just church ladies as they might be described somewhere else. These are warriors, Disciples, followers of the Way. They’ve looked death, destruction, illness, and heartache in the face and haven’t backed down. They take risks and are not afraid to go out into their world to take the love of God to others. They knock on the doors of strangers because that’s what Jesus would have them do.
They are the backbones of their families, often putting themselves last and thinking nothing of it. They are far from perfect and will be the first to tell you that, but they’ll also tell you about their Father who is.
This table is a place where for an hour or so a week, Heaven touches down to earth and no one leaves quite the same as when they came in. And no one ever goes away empty.
This post is dedicated to my Mom’s Bible study, those faithful ladies, all of whom I am honored to call my friends, my sisters. I love you all and I love you Mom for introducing me to women’s Bible studies and the tables past and present. They will remain with me forever. This post is also dedicated to strong women everywhere who carry the love of Christ wherever they go, no matter what the cost. Jesus loves you and is honored by your lives the way He always honored women when He was down here on earth. I don’t think it was an accident that He chose Mary to be the first to see Him after the resurrection. He values you and me!