Slice pineapple

I saw her sitting alone, drinking a can of Ensure. Her dark hair was long and straight and hung down her back to her waist. When she did look up, she peered out from under unwashed bangs through a pair of filmy glasses. 

As I made my way to her table I scanned the lunchroom for familiar faces, but saw none. Nervously carrying my tray, I walked over to her table and asked if I could sit down. A shy smile flashed across her face, and she nodded. 

Every day for a year my quiet friend and I shared a lunch table. Some days we ate in near silence, listening to the buzz of 300 other conversations going on around us. It’s been years, and while I don’t remember her name, I remember how hard it was to approach a stranger, to risk rejection, to ask to be welcomed. 

Various events in my life and in the world over the last couple of years have forced me to consider what it looks like to love like Jesus loves, to love my neighbor as myself, and what exactly it means to “show hospitality.”

Love is a verb. It’s also a biblical command. 

It’s easier to hold some people at arms length, or duck out of reach because of fear of what loving them might cost us: Our reputation? Our friends? Our spheres of influence? Our opportunities? We can spend more time worrying about how to practice hospitality than doing it at all. We’re fighting the fear. We’re embracing #bravehospitality.

A closer look into the scriptures reveals that loving like Jesus loves, loving strangers, is costly, and sometimes, it’s uncomfortable. But we have to ask ourselves, “Who is my neighbor? Who are the strangers I have failed to show hospitality to?”

Our neighborhood reaches far beyond our zip code. Our hospitality, our love for others, also must extend beyond our doorstep. 

My shy lunchroom friend showed me, a stranger, hospitality that day. It was grace at her table.

We’ve all been on one side or the other of that lunchroom table. GraceTable is us saying “yes” to friends we maybe haven’t met yet, friends who are walking around with their lunch trays looking for a place to sit. This is us putting away our fear and our preconceived notions as we scoot over and say,  “I don’t know your story, but I’d like to.” We’re learning how to practice brave hospitality–which is, to love strangers.

GraceTable is a safe space for conversation. This is a place to talk about the intersection of food and faith and how the practice of hospitality is less about what you serve and more about that you serve. GraceTable is a space where there are always enough seats, always enough food, and always grace. We are people who want to love across our comfort zones.

We know we won’t do it perfectly. We know it won’t always be easy. We’re okay with that because we know that when you lay down your life for your brother, there is no greater love.

We want to love greatly. 

We believe that loving others is powerful–that love can bridge gaps that we otherwise don’t know how to cross. We like to call GraceTable our virtual soup kitchen. We’re here to feed and be fed. We’re here to tell our honest stories and occasionally offer a recipe. We want to share some resources to help you love greatly and hope that you’ll come away from the table inspired and encouraged.  

Welcome to the table. 

 

To celebrate our launch, we have put together a bundle of goodies for you. ONE winner will receive everything pictured here.

(This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Our sincerest apologies to our international friends.)

Giveaway items

 1. A copy of Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist

2. Set of 4 burlap placemats from Mary & Martha

3. Coffee and spoon from Mary & Martha

4. “The Best of Life is at the Table” journal

5. Pack of blank recipe cards

6. “He is Good” print from Kristin Schmucker

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kris / Posts / Blog
Kris is a writer and artist living in the middle of Ohio. She loves Jesus, people, and words. She is most often found in her tiny kitchen, where she plays with her food. Having recently mastered the art of preparing perfectly crisp dino-nuggets--she is her children's hero.
  • Kris Camealy
    http://kriscamealy.com/

    test comment

    November 3rd, 2014 11:39
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  • Ashlie
    http://ashliewrites.com/

    Test comment

    November 3rd, 2014 11:47
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  • Beth
    http://withlove-simplybeth.blogspot.com/

    Excited to get to know you all here. An encouraging way to begin. My husband and I were just talking yesterday about a desire we have to open our doors more to connect at a deeper level with others. To love and serve more like Jesus. Blessings.

    November 3rd, 2014 11:54
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    • Kris Camealy
      http://kriscamealy.com/

      Wonderful, beth! Thanks for meeting us here! We look forward to hearing more about your journey.

      November 4th, 2014 3:22
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  • JanetR123
    http://frugalandfocused.com/

    So excited for this community. I desire to open our home more in hospitality and this will no doubt be a place I can come for encouragement to nudge me out of my comfort zone.

    November 3rd, 2014 12:17
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    • Kris Camealy
      http://kriscamealy.com/

      Oh we hope so! it helps to have support, doesn’t it? 🙂

      November 4th, 2014 3:22
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  • Crystal
    http://crystalstine.me/

    I’m already so grateful for this community of amazing hosts who love Jesus and hospitality and community. Thank you for this safe space where I can come and be filled – it’s just what my heart has been craving, and I can’t wait to see what God is going to do through it and all of your words!

    November 3rd, 2014 12:20
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    • Kris Camealy
      http://kriscamealy.com/

      *sigh* you’re a gift. So happy to see you here, and know you, friend. WHAT is God up to?….

      November 4th, 2014 3:23
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  • christie elkins.

    This is such a lovely concept and even lovelier people surrounding it! Thankful for your hearts and minds that are geared toward the Lord. GraceTable is much needed.

    November 3rd, 2014 12:26
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    • Kris Camealy
      http://kriscamealy.com/

      Christie it’s great to see you here! Welcome to the table, sweet friend!!

      November 4th, 2014 3:23
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  • Leigh Kay
    http://dailyrefined.blogspot.com/

    Congratulations on the launch! Hospitality has been a passion of mine since I can remember, though I paid it much more attention when I had my own spaces to share in college. I am so excited for you, my writer friends, at this beautiful display of obedient love. I’m cheering each of you on (even those of you I haven’t had the pleasure of “knowing” yet). You’re brave, the lot of you. I’m thankful for this vision, this table. You are supported.

    November 3rd, 2014 12:31
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    • Kris Camealy
      http://kriscamealy.com/

      Thank you, Leigh. You bless us!

      November 4th, 2014 3:23
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  • Mary Bonner
    Mary Bonner
    http://www.marybonner.net/

    So excited for this online table!! I love entertaining, but I usually do it with people that I am feel “safe” with…this may encourage me to broaden my boundaries. Thank you!

    November 3rd, 2014 12:37
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    • Kris Camealy
      http://kriscamealy.com/

      It’s hard, isn’t it Mary, I know this will be a challenge for me too. We all can use the encouragement.

      November 4th, 2014 3:24
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  • JViola79
    http://daysnthoughts.com

    Earlier, as I was getting ready for day, I felt the Lord nudging me about opening my home. To scroll through my FB feed & find this to read has been such confirmation. Thank you for the “push” 🙂

    November 3rd, 2014 12:42
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    • Kris Camealy
      http://kriscamealy.com/

      Woohoo! Love it when that happens!

      November 4th, 2014 3:24
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  • Sarah

    I am so thankful for the way this place has already stretched me toward a more hospitable heart. Kris, you are a gem. I’m so grateful for your obedience to God’s calling. ((hugs))

    November 3rd, 2014 12:47
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    • Kris Camealy
      http://kriscamealy.com/

      YOU. YOU are a gracious friend, Sarah. Your service is beautiful and humbling to behold.

      November 4th, 2014 3:25
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  • Christin
    http://joyfulmothering.net/

    Yay this is so exciting! I’ve invited some people from my church as a start (which is still a wee bit uncomfortable for me) to gather on the 15th. I am already overdoing it in my head and overwhelming myself!

    November 3rd, 2014 12:50
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    • Kris Camealy
      http://kriscamealy.com/

      yay, Christin! Don’t be overwhelmed! 😉 Just love them. the rest need not be complicated. simplicity, and honest fellowship. I hope your gathering is enjoyable.

      November 4th, 2014 3:26
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  • Tonya

    Oh friend… Just so much love for you and all the brave people who come to the table overflowing with love and grace. I’m so grateful I am on this journey of living well with you friend.

    November 3rd, 2014 12:59
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    • Kris Camealy
      http://kriscamealy.com/

      *hugs* Thank you for showing up today, Tonya. You are a gift!

      November 4th, 2014 3:26
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  • Christine- Fruit in Season
    http://fruitinseason.blogspot.com

    Beautiful place! I’m honored to be here with all of you. <3

    November 3rd, 2014 13:04
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    • Kris Camealy
      http://kriscamealy.com/

      Love you so. Grateful you are here!!

      November 4th, 2014 3:27
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  • Justin Bowers

    Kris,

    Thanks for framing our community with such beautiful words. Excited to share this journey with you all.

    November 3rd, 2014 13:30
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    • Kris Camealy
      http://kriscamealy.com/

      Justin, it’s an honor and a joy to get to serve alongside you in this. Thanks for saying “yes”!

      November 4th, 2014 3:27
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  • Christie Purifoy
    http://www.christiepurifoy.com/

    Beautiful, Kris!

    November 3rd, 2014 13:41
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  • Julie Wilson
    http://www.whimsywords.blogspot.com/

    I have been blaming my introvertedness on my hiding in the corner of the world, but I know that it is also a lot of fear! I am so looking forward to joining you at the Grace Table and learning more about #bravehospitality
    God’s trying to push me out of my comfort zone and I may be dragging, kicking and screaming! So delighted to have friends and faces I know to encourage me on this journey!

    November 3rd, 2014 14:16
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    • Kris Camealy
      http://kriscamealy.com/

      Julie, we have heard from a fair number of introverts. I am looking forward to exploring biblical hospitality from a different perspective! We are here to help and encourage!

      November 4th, 2014 3:28
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  • Becky Keife
    http://www.beckykeife.com/

    Your heart for the Lord and people shines through these words. I’m excited to pull up a chair and learn with you what #bravehospitality God is calling us to. Love this. Congrats on a beautiful launch!

    November 3rd, 2014 14:54
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    • Kris Camealy
      http://kriscamealy.com/

      Thanks so much, Becky. We are thrilled to have you here!

      November 4th, 2014 3:29
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  • Alysa @ Kitchen Fellowship
    http://kitchenfellowship.com

    I want to shout about Grace Table from a mountain top and share it with everyone I know! It’s so in line with what I’m doing at Kitchen Fellowship and I’m in awe of all the beautiful communities on the internet that are beginning to talk about authentic hospitality.

    Grateful to be with you on this journey of awakening people to hospitality.

    November 3rd, 2014 14:55
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    • Kris Camealy
      http://kriscamealy.com/

      Hi Alysa, what a gift to meet you here. Looking forward to getting to know you better in this space.

      November 4th, 2014 3:29
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  • Rebekah
    http://threebeesinabluebonnet.blogspot.com/

    I am really looking forward to this space and the conversations and friendships that will develop and be shared here. What beautiful hosts and what a lovely space. This is encouraging my heart today. I am praying for the ability to reach out and be more welcoming.

    November 3rd, 2014 15:13
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    • Kris Camealy
      http://kriscamealy.com/

      Yay! Thanks for coming by today, Rebekah.

      November 4th, 2014 3:29
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  • Barbie
    http://myfreshlybrewedlife.com/

    I am so excited to be here! Thank you for inviting me to join you at the table.

    November 3rd, 2014 15:39
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    • Kris Camealy
      http://kriscamealy.com/

      Anytime, Barbie. Glad you are here!

      November 4th, 2014 3:30
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  • Monica Snyder

    “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.” Acts 2:46 Such a beautiful place for our glad and sincere hearts to meet and break bread. Heavenly Father, Thank you for the courage of these women. I ask You to bless this place exceeding, abundantly above all we could ask or think for our good and FOR YOUR GLORY. Amen

    November 3rd, 2014 15:45
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    • Kris Camealy
      http://kriscamealy.com/

      I love that scripture 😉 Praying for you, Monica.

      November 4th, 2014 3:30
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  • Rebecca

    Awesome! So thankful for what God is doing here and what he will do through us all as we open our doors and hearts to serve others! Congratulations on the launch and thank y’all for inviting everyone here.

    November 3rd, 2014 15:45
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  • Debby Hudson
    http://livingingraceland.me

    I’m not much of a foodie but conversation around the table is the best. Looking forward to coming to the table.

    November 3rd, 2014 16:05
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    • Kris Camealy
      http://kriscamealy.com/

      Well, Debby, fear not, while we love food, we are all of carrying degrees of culinary skill. That’s the beauty of this space, it doesn’t matter if you are the take-out queen. The conversation and connection is what we care about most. Glad you are here!

      November 4th, 2014 3:32
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  • Diane Bailey
    http://www.dianewbailey.net/

    I’m excited for this new community and sitting around a table of grace having good conversations with some of my favorite people!

    November 3rd, 2014 16:09
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    • Kris Camealy
      http://kriscamealy.com/

      Thanks, Diane. So wonderful to see you here!

      November 4th, 2014 3:32
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  • Shelly W.

    Love food AND friends around my table. Those friends mostly look like college students these days, but I’m looking forward to being pushed out of my comfort zone here. What a beautiful site!

    November 3rd, 2014 16:32
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  • Amy Tilson
    http://www.amylearns.com/

    CONGRATULATIONS Kris and company. So thrilled this has all started. Now let’s see if I can grow some hospitality up in here. 🙂 Love to you all!

    November 3rd, 2014 18:02
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    • Kris Camealy
      http://kriscamealy.com/

      Amy, thank you!! So nice to see you here, my friend!!

      November 4th, 2014 3:33
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  • Shelly Miller
    http://redemptionsbeauty.com/

    Oh my goodness, it’s amazing. How does it feel to finally give birth? I’m so excited!

    November 3rd, 2014 20:43
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    • Kris Camealy
      http://kriscamealy.com/

      It’s exciting. and a little bit tiring 😉 but really, how amazing is this space? Ted is a genius.

      November 4th, 2014 3:33
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      52
  • Nicole
    http://jnicolemorgan.com/

    This is so many things that are my heart. Excited about this place on the web. 🙂

    November 3rd, 2014 22:37
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  • Leah Adams
    http://www.leahadams.org/

    Excited about pulling up to GraceTable and making new friends. Blessings you all.

    November 4th, 2014 1:42
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    • Kris Camealy
      http://kriscamealy.com/

      Welcome, Leah, so glad you are joining us!

      November 4th, 2014 3:34
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  • Kim@onerebelheart

    This is just awesome! I can’t wait to see how this adventure in hospitality develops. And I see some of my favorite people are here!

    November 4th, 2014 2:40
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    • Kris Camealy
      http://kriscamealy.com/

      Great to hear it, Kim! Yay!

      November 4th, 2014 3:34
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  • Asheritah Ciuciu

    Oh I’m so SO glad you’re tackling hospitality and love. It’s such a hard practice for many of us, and I’m looking forward to allowing God to stretch me in this way.

    November 5th, 2014 5:40
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  • Elizabeth Marshall

    I am giddy excited about this project. And salivating & chomping at the bit for all you will be serving up.

    November 5th, 2014 14:17
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  • Kamille Scellick
    http://www.redeemingthetable.com/

    I feel honored to host here, and be apart of a table, which beautifully portrays so much of my heart. You are a gift Kris.

    November 7th, 2014 5:42
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  • Yvonne Reynolds
    http://www.yvonnereynolds.com/

    Looking forward to all that you will be sharing here!

    November 7th, 2014 21:05
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  • Mel

    I am loving this space already…thank you for the invitation to be here. 🙂

    November 7th, 2014 23:03
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  • Mary

    So blessed to be welcomed so beautifully here in your new place-Grace Table. I am humbled today to share the space with you at Karilee’s home and can’t wait to read more as many join around Grace Table! Blessings!

    November 8th, 2014 15:12
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