Posts tagged "welcoming others"

The Art We Make at the Table

This is a story of two tables. The first is round. The wood is dark, and the square pedestal is cracked. We bought the table as newlyweds. We spent weeks hunting for chairs to match. The six chairs we found were always a little wobbly, but the warm, wood color was just right. It needed sixteen years, but we did, eventually, grow to fill those chairs. Jonathan and myself. Two...

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When Hospitality is a Safe Place for the Waiting

When I was four-years-old, my family moved to a large house on a dirt road in a small province in the Philippines.  The leaves of mango trees were glossy green, and coconut trees reached their branches for the clouds. On the hot days of the dry season, we felt the sweat trickle down our necks as we sat in front of electric fans. Wet season brought with it daily rain...

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Sunlight, Shadows, and a Supper Club

When I was younger, I was sure that loneliness was both inevitable and temporary. It was simply the price one paid for moving to a faraway city or taking a new job or joining a different church. Loneliness was a straightforward ailment easily cured in time. Now that I am older, I understand loneliness not as a sickness but a shadow. The sun shines brightly here in the land of...

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Piercing Questions and Costly Grace

“Don’t forget your coat!” Jeremy ran up behind me and wrapped me in the fluffy down-filled coat. Colorado is quietly cold in the winter. The sun is no gauge for the actual temperature. I bundled up, grabbed the homemade Whole Foods salsa I picked up, though I promised homemade salsa, and we were off to a dinner with 4 other friends, some of which we hadn’t seen in nearly 6...

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Setting the Table

My mother-in-law knows how to set a table. She’s a connector, a people person, a well of bubbling, intentional hospitality. She’s also a planner. Days in advance I can tell that company is coming, or a special dinner is in the cards, because her table will start to come together. A special set of dishes will appear from a box in the attic. She’ll play with table cloths and runners,...

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Merry Christmas

God asks us to give away everything of ourselves. The gift of greatest efficacy and power that we can offer God and creation is not our skills, gifts, abilities and possessions...In the end, when all other human gifts have met their inevitable limitation, it is the recollected one, the bold virgin with  a heart in love with God who makes a sanctuary of her life, who delivers Christ, who then delivers us...What...

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Neighbor Man Cometh

One Christmas Eve my husband and I invited our flannelled, bushy-bearded neighbor man to join us for our family’s traditional, holiday meal. We’d known him for a few years. He used to come to his country property every weekend to camp out, but come one Sunday night, rather than leave for the city, he moved into his camp trailer. Permanent. I sometimes saw him at the outlet store where dented...

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Bring A Different Way-Reflections on loving Others During Advent

The other day while a friend and I sat discussing a complicated social issue, she turned to me and said something along the lines of wishing there were a book that would simply outline for her, how to handle the issue specifically--preferably with a bullet-point list of action points. I quickly shot down her fantasy with my own admission that I'd once hoped for the same thing, but after reading several...

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Love at the Table

I still remember the first time I met her, emerging from the shadow of her garage to meet us at the car. Her eyes were the same piercing blue as his; or rather, I suppose, his, hers. I think I told her so right then. I don't know if he and I were in love yet but we were headed in that direction; he brought me home to meet his parents, after all. Obviously, something was...

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Hospitality of Reconciliation

''You are about to be ordained into a church that thrives on its English and colonial past,'' he said, ''a church which historically has sought to make its black congregations and churches invisible either by not admitting them to the councils or by trying to model them on the basis of English piety and English preaching.'' - Dr. Hood, prof. General theological Seminary Ouch.  Recited at the ordination ceremony of...

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