Some families share a table that has been passed along for generations, but there’s more than mere furniture that is inherited.
A Table at OJ’s
The irony wasn’t lost on me. We were sitting at a table in OJ’s, talking about a newly published book, A Place at My Table. One of the busiest leaders in the world carved out time to be with me as he had countless times before. This occasion was over a meal, while others in the last 31 years were over leadership assignments, speaking opportunities, or on squash courts. There was space at his tables to not only belong but to become.
The author of the book is his wife, Susan Wells. A Place at My Table: Creating Space to Belong, is Sue’s first book, but it shouldn’t be her last.
Starting from when she was a freckle-faced little girl living in Campbellton, New Brunswick, her writing quickly draws you into a relational journey that took her from not knowing Jesus as a child to a life of loving service for Him.
A Faithful Presence
Invitations to a neighbour’s table became an extension of Jesus’ love that led Sue to become a follower of Jesus. Sue concluded, “Emma didn’t set out to invest her life in me; she just became my friend.” (page 22). That reflection illustrates the motivation behind of a lifetime of relational experiences that characterized Sue and Dave’s influence on others for Jesus.
A Place at My Table addresses the question, “How can we be a faithful presence in our families and communities?” Sue observes there is no foolproof formula for successfully engaging the message of Jesus. It’s messy and it can’t be faked, but it begins with an invitation to a table.
She explains, “Your ‘table’ is expressed through who you are and what you do. The ‘table’ is not a place; it’s your way of life.”
Your life with Jesus invades every relationship especially those closest to home. Its in those relationships that we model living from our acceptance by God instead of working religiously for God’s acceptance. Believers are called to live in a manner worthy of Jesus – in all humility, gentleness, patience, bearing with one another – a context of deep, intimate relationships. (Ephesians 4:1-3)
Jesus repeatedly compels us to demonstrate God’s unconditional love. We watch Him gathering at tables with friends, sinners, and even his enemies. The invitation to come to the table was extended to those who had failed Him time and time again. There is huge kingdom value in a pot of King Cole tea, a Starbucks latte, or a game of squash.
Who’s sitting at your table?
“Jesus didn’t die on the cross just so you could have a better life. every blessing you have received has been for a higher purpose than that of your own well-being. An imperfect start, or pain along the way, does not have to determine how your life will finish.” (page 79)
“Many people today have formed a false narrative about the church. To them, it’s an establishment that represents arrogance, hypocrisy, sexual abuse, and more. Don’t be surprised if you are mocked for your naiveté in aligning with “those kind of people.” (page 84)
“Faithful followers sacrifice their comfort zones and push past the borderlands, choosing to become outliers. We press into uncharted realms where fear and insecurity loom larger than our kernel-sized nuggets of faith.” (page 98)
“Over time, I’ve discovered that no amount of raw talent or number of practiced answers can change a life. The Holy Spirit comes alongside us to do what we cannot, salting and enhancing our limitations.” (page 103)
I highly recommend you order a copy of Sue’s book for $8.00 here.
Please leave a comment for Sue at the bottom of this post. Thank you. And thank you Sue for sharing your life with us.
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