Gather Around a Table

Weekly Reflection, Sunday, July 1, 2018

By: Ashley Cameron

How often do you get to sit down at a table surrounded by the people you love? As someone who up until recently lived in an apartment without a dining table, those times were few and far between.

Which honestly was isolating and soul sucking for me. I grew up where family dinner happened at least four to five nights a week. We all gathered around the table to share a meal and share about one another’s day, challenges we were facing, accomplishments we achieved. Sometimes we sat in silence but were still present with one another.

This past Monday was my birthday. In the weeks leading up to it, my friends kept inquiring how I wanted to celebrate. After some thought, I decided that this year I didn’t want a big party but an intimate dinner with my closest friends.

I deeply desired to gather around a table and truly reconnect. Not only did I want to celebrate another year but celebrate our friendship and love for one another. However, the best part of the evening was “phonedora’s box” – a wooden box with a lid that said, “you have to put your device in ‘phonedora’s box’ on your table. C’mon, you know you could use a little digital detox.” They’re right, who doesn’t need a digital detox these days?

The five of us had no choice but to put down our phones – not scroll through Instagram, not answer a quick text, or pull up photos to enhance a story but be fully present in life-giving conversation.

As a birthday gift, my friend gave me The Turquoise Table by Kristin Schell. Kristin creates a place in her own front yard – the Turquoise Table – where family, friends, and neighbors can slow down, sit, and develop community. She writes, “people are hungry for connection and a place to belong. And the truth – we were created to be in community by a God who loves us extravagantly… In order for us to even get a glimpse of what that kind of majestic love looks and feels like, we have to experience it through connection with others. So God gave us one another.”

Next time you’re feeling isolated, frazzled, or disconnected, invite one or two or three to gather around a table. Let’s unplug and build our lives around one another by opening up our hearts to connect.