On a recent Sunday at church, I told a young man he looked “spiffy”. Ridley turned to me and informed me that I was showing my age and kids nowadays don’t know the word “spiffy”. What? I stayed away from “you look cute” since he was a preteen and I didn’t want to come across creepy by telling him he was “handsome”. I felt spiffy was my only safe option.
As I sit at my kitchen table this morning with five empty chair around me, I have been praying for my family members who typically sit in each one. I smile at the thought of frowns over my menu selection, fingers twisting through long hair, ketchup squirting, laughter and even some of my favorite family conversations. Then I open my Bible to see what God wants to share with me for the day.
Psalm 23:5 and 6 paints a sweet picture. “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever”. I have read it before, but sitting at my table sure gives me a different perspective. God is preparing a table for me in the presence of my enemies. I pictured this amazing table like some I have seen on HGTV. Candles are lit and every attention to detail is obvious. There are mouth watering dishes with tons of color that catch my eye and the steam that flows from each tickles my nose. In ancient Near Eastern culture, at a banquet the hosts were expected to protect their guest at all cost. I chuckle at the thought of how this mom (the Barron host at dinner time) protects her sweet guest at the table by feeding them healthy, making them use their manners and leaving their cell phones somewhere else. This is our time as parents, to have conversations and discussions about things that protect our kids from the enemies out in the world.
God offers the same protection of a host when enemies surround us. God, the perfect Host, promises to guide us and protect us. The final scene of this Psalm reminds us that when we follow, He will escort us to dwell with Him forever in His house. Along the way, He lets us have these amazing friends that follow us….Goodness and Mercy. I love the picture of everywhere we go as believers, we get to take these friends with us. I feel at ease as I watch my kids leave for school knowing that their friends, Goodness and Mercy are following them.
My page journey in the Word then takes me over to Proverbs 3:3. “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.” My wacky creative brain is putting together one of these Lisa images. I am still sitting here at my table and suddenly visualize God getting me all dressed up for this “prepared table”. My necklace of love and faithfulness has a lot of “bling” for my pj’s this morning, but I proudly choose to wear it today.
Looking ahead into this Monday, I am going to dress up to match my necklace of love and faithfulness and take my friends, Goodness and Mercy out on the town for the day. My prayer is that people around me will notice how God can make any of us look pretty spiffy. Pull up a chair today and sit at the table He has prepared for you. It is a table for three! Goodness and Mercy want to hang out with you.