Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tasty Tuesday ... Table Talk

Tables talk. What does your table say about you? And what does your table say about your guest?

My wonderful, but FULL, last month and a half has finally caught up with me. That "roaring" in my right ear was not just the sound of the engines, since I ALWAYS END UP IN THE BACK OF THE PLANE ;) No ... it was an ear infection growing in my right ear.

God has been so good to me to hold back the full impact of being sick while I ministered in Thailand and Paraguay and then spent a joyous week in Ohio with my daughter and many sweet friends. But now ... now my body wants attention, and the Lord opened a seat in the busy walk-in clinic for me Monday. I have another antibiotic, a heavy duty antihistamine, the help of my family, and the prayers of friends. The Lord even gave me a sweet sister to "be me" at the first night of Vacation Bible School last night. I'm praying I'll get to be there soon to serve with JoHanna. My voice is barely a whisper, and I definitely need that if I'm teaching 5 year olds! I appreciate your prayers for the return of my energy and voice.

One of the things we do at our evening VBS is serve a light meal. It says to our children "We love you and want to meet your needs, physically AND spiritually." It says, "Sit down and be served. We want you to be satisfied." We serve this meal each night on paper plates and in Styrofoam cups, but we serve it with smiles and warm words and kindness. Our master hostess Tee does a wonderful job of making the meal work well for hundreds of children and staff members. It's heavenly hospitality.

When we serve, "our table talks." At VBS, our "kid audience" gets the love message loud and clear on paper plates, but sometimes, the language of hospitality takes a different form. Always, serving with love is what matters more than dishes or linens. A rotten attitude ruins a great meal.

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.  As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.  ~ 1 Peter 4:8-10

Last week JoHanna and I visited friends and were served on a SPECIALLY prepared table. I have to show it to you. It really reflects the personality of our dear friend, her love of things from days gone by, and her hospitable spirit that doesn't go out of style. The way she set the table says "love."

Look at all the special details! I felt like an honored guest.

When talking about serving a meal, our "table definitely talks," telling our guest what we think of them and our time together. Can you understand why I felt so loved when I sat down to my friend's table? The food was not extravagant, but she had spent time planning for our time together. It was an important appointment for her. She wanted to refresh us in our time together. I felt so blessed. And this was just one of several meals served by sweet friends who "loved on" us at their tables last week. We were so encouraged by the "language at their tables."

Whatever we're serving food or leading in VBS crafts or welcoming parents or organizing games, our attitude in serving can produce a blessing or a curse. Oh that we would serve those at the "table of life" with a spirit of hospitality, with an attitude like Jesus has. That's a table I want to gather around!  You?

What is your table saying to those you serve?

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