Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Rickety old Table

Do you have a place in your past that you recall where everything and everyone on the outside said “we love you, appreciate you and respect you”, but based on the actual appearance of things and actually the configuration of the table and chairs; a very different message was being communicated?

I know I do and what I’m talking about is Thanksgiving Dinner, at my Grandma & Grandpa’s house, sitting at the Kid’s Table!

You know the kid’s table don’t you? It’s the broken down, rickety old, cob web covered card table that your grandparent’s drag out each and every year for occasions like Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and Graduation celebrations.

In theory I understand the concept of the Kid’s Table; its purpose is to provide a place for the young ones because the big table doesn’t have enough room. Ok, I understand that it’s usually due to a space or seating issue that the kid’s table is needed, but let’s think a moment about what message it’s sending.

Here are a few potential messages that the kid’s table is sending to those sitting at it…

· You’re a second class citizen (only the adults matter around here)
· You’re not worthy of the succulent delicacies present at the big table (bologna, fruit salad and sippy cups compared to Turkey, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy and all the trimmings)
· Your opinion isn’t important (I mean when is the last time a member of the kid’s table has ever interjected a discussion topic that enhances the spiritual, emotional, and mental capacities of those lounging at the big table?)
· You have to reach a certain age and or height to be deemed worthy of the big table (much like many young people are treated when they want to step up and step out in a leadership role)

Now, I’m just having a little fun with this whole kid’s table thing because after all, I was given food, drink, comfort and surrounded by family during each and every gathering. I surely didn’t miss many meals, so I’m not really complaining, just pointing out that fact that I think we need to be careful that what we say matches up with what we truly believe, because messages can easily be misinterpreted if we’re not careful.

Each and every kid’s table experience for me came with "sippy cups and bologna", but also came with hugs, kisses, and words of encouragement from family members who loved me.

What if I didn’t have that? What if I was left to decipher what I was seeing, as a reality statement from those around me? Statements like “You don’t matter”, “Your opinion doesn’t count” and “You’re a second class citizen” would start to trickle down into my psyche, and as they say “perception becomes reality.” I would’ve been in a bad place mentally and spiritually that’s for sure.

So, as I take a little time to reflect today, I'm thinking about the messages spoken or unspoken that I'll send to those I come in contact with today.

God loves us, accepts us, and has prepared a place for us. In fact there is plenty of room at His banqueting table. I don’t believe there is a Kid’s Table with Him, we’re all welcome and encouraged to bring friends, because there’s plenty to go around!

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