Joan Reynolds

Real Faith, Real Life & Real Joy

A Seat At Our Table


My journey through this dating experience, and getting caught up on life with a man God has brought into my life at this moment in time, has uncovered many memories. Initially they seemed good, then not so good, then good again. Layers and layers of where we have been and how we got to the place we are right now. Water under the bridge in some ways, but information that a potential mate for life needs and expects to know. The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God, as they used to swear in the witnesses in Perry Mason court cases!

After processing some of the negative ones again to see if they are still binding me in any way, there often surfaces a second memory of the same place and time where I could see that my heart was turned to God and the expectation of the good life He had ahead for me and my children. As a single Mom, I often missed the presence of a male at the head of our table, both to anchor our family and to be the covering and protector any family needs. I remember at a certain point that I would set the dining room table with our finest linens and silverware and china. These were former wedding gifts I rarely had occasion to use any longer, yet they looked pretty when I looked at the dining room we also rarely used, as though we were awaiting a special guest.

I remember setting the table for four, though we were a family of three at that time, and for most of the time I was raising the boys. I remember laying out the place settings, and thinking as I did that Jesus might show up any time, and in the guise of someone that I might not initially recognize. I wanted to be ready to welcome Him into our home, and to always let anyone know there was a place for them and for Him at our table.

As all of this looking back and remembering the places He has kept me grounded in an unsteady world, makes me smile when I think about the ways in which He was present at our table. I remember the blessing my grandfather on my Mom’s side always said before we ate. “Be present at this table Lord, be here and everywhere adored. Thy creatures bless and grant that we, may feast in Paradise with thee, Amen.” I always thought it odd he said the same blessing at every meal, but it was really a good one, as I reflect on it now.

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