What we Bring to the Table

Awhile ago we hosted a dinner party and it felt like a slow motion train-wreck.  Honestly.  At one point we were afraid one of our guests was going to leap over the table and physically attack another guest.

And to think I was upset beforehand that I didn’t have an appropriate soup tureen and ladle.  The stuff we worry about!

I haven’t watched Game of Thrones or the Red Wedding episode, but from what I hear, after this dinner I really don’t have to.


To say there was tension would be an understatement.

Husband John and I have done quite a bit of post-mortem analysis and have asked what we can learn from this.

As I think about what was brought to the table (besides soup), I realize there was tremendous fatigue.  It had been a very long weekend in the midst of a busy season for most of us.  When we’re tired we’re not at our best.

We also brought preconceptions, insecurities, and judgment to the table.

But Fear was the uninvited guest we hadn’t expected.  And when Fear shows up he dominates the conversation whether he’s actually speaking or not.  He is a terrible listener.   He’s nervous about being wrong.  He’s insecure about change.  He likes control and the illusion of certainty.  He feels most safe with black and white.  He is very uptight.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how Fear affects the dynamics of life – the meetings we attend, the new acquaintances we’re getting to know, the goals we set, the work we do…

What if we were to pause – at the beginning of the day, or before we walk in a door, in the break room at work, or in the car – and examine our hearts for the fears we might be bringing to the table.

Is there fear of being wrong, or not good enough, or not strong enough, or fear of being left out or left behind?

What if, in the pause, we were to remind ourselves that we are beloved and belong to the Creator of the Universe who calls us by name?

What if we were to say, “Lord I am secure in You.  I have nothing to prove and nothing to lose.  Help me to bring that peace and assurance to every table where I sit today.”



  1. Just what I needed today. Thank you Laura.

  2. Oh how I am a victim of Fear! I literally avoid and hide so I don’t have to face it. Being sleep deprived myself exacerbates the fear and definitely allows Satan to speak his lies (John 8:44) even louder. Putting into practice the prayer above. Thank you Laura!

    • Oh Theresa, yes! Fatigue can so distort our perspective and allow fear more space. BTW Molly fell asleep during Lectio last night :). We won’t let her forget that soon! But as Ortberg says, “Sometimes getting sleep is the most spiritual thing we can do.” So hard with a little one, though!

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