In this season of giving thanks, I’ve been thinking about what it means to extend kindness and extend my table.
My parents modeled inclusion and hospitality – opening their home to international students, those visiting our church for the first time and many others. Our kitchen had a table that could expand with at least 10 leaves – and we adjusted the size of that table to fit whoever could join us on weekends and holidays.
Today, that same table is in my dining room. So I’ve been thinking about who I might extend my table for, especially during this Thanksgiving season.
Sonya and her 1 year old son were the guests of Carlos and Millie, Bridge of Hope Neighboring Volunteers, for Thanksgiving a few years ago. When Sonya looks back she says, “I arrived scared and sad. Going to a stranger’s home for Thanksgiving felt the opposite of what I wanted. But they wrapped their arms around me when I arrived and I suddenly felt at home. That was the beginning of their complete acceptance of me – and it affected every area of my life.”
Small acts of kindness, like adding a plate or two at your Thanksgiving table, can change sadness into hope. Social poverty
, the lack of relationships of support, is something Bridge of Hope is addressing every day. One pastor
says it this way: “Like in most congregations, our greatest resource is loving, caring and capable people! Through Bridge of Hope we have an opportunity to invite people to bring who they are to something that is mutually transforming. We find we’re all in this together; it’s a win – win – win kind of thing!”
May we each find ways extend our table, bring hope, and end social poverty,
P.S. For inspiration, check out Carrie Newcomer’s song and video “Room at the Table.”