A Better Dining Experience

Posted by Tami Fowler on

The bible teaches us that God’s grace is sufficient. But what do you do when you feel that you are living outside of God’s sufficiency? I mean, there are days when I just don’t feel it. There are days that I’m really in the groove (I just aged myself) and there are days when I’m so far outside of the groove that I feel totally and utterly helpless or to be more honest, DONE! Done with everything and everyone. Days that I don’t feel that there is any grace anywhere.

For the last several weeks, Martin and Nika have been teaching us about eating at St. Luke’s Diner. That all are welcomed and that we should be eating with those that are out on the fringe, the unacceptable, the outliers, the “sinners” for lack of a better word. But what happens when you are the unacceptable, the outlier, the sinner? You don’t want to have dinner with yourself much less someone just like you. What happens then?

For the last couple of years, my life has been in a total overhaul. The path I thought I was on was pulled completely away. This overhaul is causing me to really look at who I am and who I pretend to be. If it’s true that all are welcomed at the table, then why is it that I’m not comfortable at the table? Is it because I’m not really being honest with the work that God is trying His hardest to do in me? Or is it because I’m refusing to ask God to work on me, because if I truly ask Him, then I have to accept the changes? Man, I have a lot of questions here.

I know that deep down, my belief and my faith are unshakeable, but on the surface, I’m having a harder time walking in that knowledge. The surface seems to be controlling me at the moment. The surface is making me unsatisfied with things, people and to be totally honest, God. People I know and love are suffering through anxiety, depression, fear. I’ve been trying to be the “good counselor” and remind them to “lean into the Lord”, but I’m not really leaning in. Does that make me a fraud? Probably. But I also know what it feels like to really “lean in” and “lean in hard”. So, while, I’m currently not in a “leaning” mode, I know how to encourage someone, so maybe not a complete fraud? At least that’s something.

I think what I’m missing are the ingredients of what is on the table at St. Luke’s Diner. I’m missing the salt (daily immersion in the word), the flour (the fellowship of God’s people) which binds us together and makes us stretchy, and the sugar (the sweetness of God’s love). I realize that even though I implied that I felt out of control, I’m actually realizing that I have total control. I can control whether or not I read God’s word, reach out to someone for fellowship and actually embrace the love of God. When this hit me, I also realized that even though I’m often unacceptable, an outlier and heaven forbid a sinner, that I’m actually a pretty good dinner companion, because I know what the person sitting next to me is going through and better yet, how to give them a better dining experience because it turns out that God’s grace is sufficient.

Psalm 107:9 “For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.”


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