Graceful [greys-fuhl] adj.
Characterized by elegance or beauty of form, manner, movement, or speech; elegant.
Table [tey-buh l] n.
Such a piece of furniture specifically used for serving food to those seated at it.
Did you know that the average family in America spends just 3 meals a week together or less? That is a sad statistic, given that there is SO much research that supports why families should gather around meals. Just Google family dinner and you’ll find plenty of articles that share specific ways that children benefit from the family meal table. We are going a mile a minute in America, and I believe this is one of the reasons why we eat out so much and eat processed food on the go.
One of the callings we feel in our life as a family is hospitality, and if you haven’t noticed recently, this is both a dying art and is getting more and more difficult. Less people live in homes where they feel they can have people over to share meals. Less people leave time in their lives for inviting people into their home. We are over-booked to the max. Weekdays and weekends are filled in before we even have an opportunity to think of being home together. And the last thing on our mind is community with others outside of our family because it is nearly impossible between schedules and dietary restrictions. We know everyone has dietary restrictions these days, and we fear failing at accommodating those restrictions. We give up before we start because we just can’t wrap our mind around it. Stop trying. Offer your table as you can to those with restrictions and we’ll figure the rest out together.
That’s what we’ve done. We cannot solve for every restriction for every person that walks through our door. We just open our doors and let people come as they are. But we must not give up sharing our table with others. We simply know the food we serve and read the labels. If our guests have questions, we try to have the answer.
If you have a dietary restriction, don’t stop going to other’s tables either. Make it work. We are called to community, and if you really do want it, it’s within your control to go.
This may all sound like a daunting task, but it isn’t. Practice. Start small and grow over time. Don’t keep avoiding community with those around you because of food. Try out a new recipe. Here’s one I made just this past weekend that was a hit all around. It was easy and everyone in our family could have it!
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want the foods we eat to limit our connection or ability to have community. The quality of food and time with others doesn’t have to be sacrificed because of our diet. You can have a graceful table simply by offering your time and the food you eat. People gather around food.