It’s been nearly 7 months since I returned from Refine. For all of the weeks since coming back home, I still haven’t had many words to transcribe what it was God did there–and I realize daily, part of that may be, because He is still doing it. It turns out, Refine wasn’t a destination, but a doorway.
There are stories I’ve wanted to tell but haven’t in this space. When I returned from the retreat, I spent a lot of time in the quiet with Jesus. We talked a lot about what was coming next. In the weeks following, doors I hadn’t dreamt of knocking on, began to open for me.
After months of prayer, work, wrestling, and a lot of hard work, GraceTable rolled out in the wee hours of the morning.
People have been asking, “so what is GraceTable”? And the rehearsed response is that GraceTable is an open space for conversations about food faith and biblical hospitality–that is, the love of strangers.
I don’t know all that God intends for the space we have carved out. I have a vision, I have ideas and inspiration and an outrageous team of writers I only ever dreamed of working with in this capacity, but what is GraceTable?–GraceTable is an offering, an act of obedience. It’s an open door.
In the last several years, various events have prompted me to consider what it is to love like Jesus. I’ve lost hours of sleep trying to determine how to do this better. I’ve wrestled with my pride over submitting to love, or dug my heels in because of my own insecurities, prejudices and fears. As I have explored what biblical hospitality looks like, I have to confess that I’ve feared people’s perceptions more than I’ve feared disobedience. I’ve sidestepped opportunities to love across theologies and ideologies by putting people into categories. This is not what love looks like. This is not what hospitality looks like.
I want to love like Jesus loves.
GraceTable is a space for people who want to practice loving well. It’s a space where we will gather to feed and nourish anyone who scoots up to the table. Yes, there will occasionally be recipes, but it’s not a food blog. We’ll talk about tablescapes sometimes, but it’s not an entertainment blog. Entertaining guests is not the same as biblical hospitality. I’m good at entertaining people. But do I love them? Do they leave my presence feeling loved and cared for? Or have I merely shown off by cooking a fancy meal, and using my good plates? God demonstrated the ultimate act of hospitality when He loved us first–while we were still sinners. Our messy lives are no deterrent for His love for us. He asks us to love the same way. Love one another, He says.
Our mission is to practice “brave hospitality” and challenge, encourage and inspire you to do it too. This is a bandwagon you don’t want to let roll by. Turns out, hospitality is a biblical mandate.
So I’m doing a new thing–another new territory to explore with Jesus. I’d sure love it if you met me at the table. Consider this, your standing invitation.