Day Twelve: Faces of the Beloved: Put a Leaf in the Table

Life can start feeling like it is elbow to elbow with our own daily tasks and concerns, the ones beneath our roof, crowded with responsibilities and habits. But there are beloved faces waiting to be recognized beyond the ends of our noses, the spines of our daytimers or the screens of our smartphones. A generous God can put His beloved people in our lives, to enrich and to bless and to be blessed by, if we make room for them. I’ve come to think of this way of living as putting a leaf in the table. Who are those folks who keep showing up where we are, physically, creatively or spiritually? How can we part the seams of our hours and our energy and lay down a bridge of hospitality?

This is not making people into projects. In fact, that is the impersonal and self-driven opposite. Just as we would consider a dinner guest’s special likes, comforts and interests, this  is about developing healthy, life-giving curiosity about others. Others in the car line, the grocery line, the next pew, or the next house or street over. Part of recognizing others as God’s beloved is seeing them as unique. valuable and blessed with gifts. What better way to value another than to care about what they care about?

And across the table might just become a two way street. We might find that this beloved one is curious about us, that we have gifts to give one another that we’d be poorer without. In the alchemy of a leaf in the table lifestyle, we might even forget who first made the space, shook out the cloth, and laid the feast.



6 thoughts on “Day Twelve: Faces of the Beloved: Put a Leaf in the Table

  1. Pingback: 31 Days of Belovedness in October « adailyportion

  2. Ruthi

    Missy, your post continue to speak so beautifully to me. Just recently my husband and I were having a similar discussion on how to find the time to “put a leaf in the table”. Thank you for encouraging us to do so. And I LOVE this photo!!!!

  3. kristinblankenship

    I appreciate this gentle reminder to “put a leaf in the table.” Being an introvert parenting “high maintenance” children, I tend to push aside the need to bring others into what sometimes seems like a messy life.

  4. Trish

    Missy, this is such beautiful writing. And even more beautiful ideas! I love the concept of putting a leaf in the table. Our daughter’s fiance’ does this all the time. He is extremely extroverted and absolutely loves to hear people’s stories. Age, race, economic status – none of these are barriers to him. He just invites people in to his world with curiosity, interest, and care.

    I want to do a better job at being willing to “part the seams of my time and energy”. (Such a good phrase!) But it’s something I struggle with all the time, the constant need to let go. To see everyone – everyone – as beloved. Thanks Missy!

  5. adailyportion Post author

    Hello beautiful friends! Thank you for the warmth with which you’ve received this post!

    One of the things I’ve learned as I have considered how to live a more “leaf in the table” life is that I have to do it as God made me. Meaning, I am an introvert, and I do much better in smaller gatherings, unfussy surroundings, preferably with good food to share. This quieter setting leaves me more energy to focus on the beloved ones at the table.

    I can tend to be a hermit and want to hole up with just my people at the end of the week, so I have to remind myself that almost always more comes back to me than the energy and willingness I put out there.

    Have a lovely day!


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