Sunday, November 21, 2010

Share the invitation

Daily, I committed this personal sin for the past week. Every time I did it, I shook my head, because I promised myself that I won't be in this predicament night after night. When I sat down, I was confronted with my fears and then allowed them to toy with my mind, because deep down, I knew better.

I used to get teary eyed when I thought of my Dad sitting alone at the kitchen table or at a restaurant, uttering the sad syllables that compose the request "Table for one." This image cultivated my fear of him being alone, and after his death, it turned into my fear of isolation. As much as a I didn't want to acknowledge it, eating with someone was the strongest way for me to feel connected and at peace with life's swells of chaos and sheer beauty. Yet as a college student, outside the realm of my hometown friends and family, focus on togetherness at mealtime was placed on the back burner. Then, when I confronted my desire for togetherness and companionship, meals were restored to their prominent status in my hierarchy of priorities.

For me, eating a meal is never an individual activity, it's an action that involves sharing with someone - someone you love, someone you want to know more, someone you respect. It's a chance to show your care for one another, an opportunity to get to know someone on a deeper level. My heart begins to beat faster when I think about how amazing it is that there is an event where such a beautiful connection can be made! ... That's why I feel is it a sin to keep dinnertime to ourselves - to let loneliness win, to let bitterness become of the victor.

With Thanksgiving this Thursday, we prepare for an evening where sharing a home-cooked meal with others and hours of conversation are the centerpiece of the day. In the spirit of this holiday, I am truly thankful that a day exists where Americans retreat from their fast paced lifestyles and unite around the family table. And even though the Thanksgiving meal is usually more elaborate and time consuming, couldn't we devote more evenings to meals like this?

In church today, the pastor finished with this verse, which I took to be as an answer to my question: "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." Revelation 3:20

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