enemies in the dining room

A few weeks ago, I spent some time with a dear friend from college. A beautiful, passionate lover of Jesus, coffee, and adventures. This woman is one of the bravest I know. As we caught up on life, she shared her current reads and the wonderings stirring around in her heart. We re-called a beloved text, Psalm 23, where she pointed out the phrase, “you prepare a table before me, in the presence of my enemies.” And it was there, in the middle of a lodge at a camp in the middle of nowhere that iron was sharpened. “What if God is inviting me to His table? And what if He’s extending the invitation to my worst enemies…my pride, my laziness, my sarcasm, and my anger?”

Oh these enemies I have spent years ignoring, running from, and sweeping under the rug! I’ve hidden from the enemies, suppressing their existence and concealing their stench with obnoxious behavior modification. But here’s what I’m noticing about the enemies in my life. The enemies are always lurking in the dining room. They hover in the corner, under the chair, and over the light fixture. They sneer and jab and frustrate. They scoff and jeer and flout. Enemies epitomize darkness. They are the antagonist of your aspirations, the prosecutor of your progress, the defamer of your disposition. How often I despise the darkness. I malign the murkiness. I spurn the shadows. And I can’t really run from these enemies. They seem to be as near as the sweat in my pores.

We mused on…perhaps it’s at His table, in His presence, that the True Light can shine forth and dispel the darkness within. Light, in it’s truest sense, illuminates the obscurity that flourishes in the dark shadows.

So maybe there’s a light on in the dining room. Maybe the dining room is the safest place to stare my enemies in the face. Maybe transformation happens at God’s table. Maybe it’s at the table of God that the masks can be removed, the hiding can halt, and the truth can be revealed. Just maybe…

And when the luminous energy glistens across the dining space, restoration becomes reality. Perhaps under the pride is deep confidence in a big and mighty God. Beneath the laziness is contentment and freedom from striving or proving my worth. Under the sarcasm is hilarious wit, past the interrupting is zeal to participate in sharing life, and beyond the anger is passion and desire for justice in the world. Is it possible that the deep craving to be right is a reflection of the character of the Righteous One who clothes me?

I don’t know for sure if this reflection is dependable, but I do know Jesus is the Truth. I know the Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can’t overcome it. And I know God has met with His beloved around the table for years now. So I’m going to keep saying yes to the invitation to dinner. I’m going to show up, present and attentive. I’m going to take the mask off and rest in genuine acceptance. And I’ll experience transformation..because that’s God’s specialty.

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