When you have all that you need,
build a longer table
not a higher fence.
We all have enough, don’t we?
In fact, we all have more than we need.
There is certainly plenty to go around.
We have a daughter who is motorcycling her way through southeast Asia — by herself. She is brave and adventurous and loves that part of the world; loves the humble, generous people she meets. She’s told her Dad and I many stories of strangers she’s met, who usually have so little, yet always offer her a meal (often lodging for the night, as well).
They don’t hide behind a high fence or pretend she isn’t there.
They build a longer table.
They set another place.
I stumbled onto this book in Barnes and Noble. The author wanted to get to know her neighbors and in the process, to be an ambassador of peace and service in a simple but meaningful way, so she painted an old picnic table turquoise and put it in her front yard. Yes – in her front yard, under a magnolia tree close to the edge of the street. And she sat there often with plastic cups, different beverages, some little something to eat, nervous and feeling awkward at first so she brought her tablet and/or phone with her, but was soon visiting and sharing with whomever showed up, stopped by, sat at the table and talked, nibbled and/or drank. It worked. It caught on. That turquoise table has now become a meeting place on her street, a village well, of sorts where people gather and visit.
It’s an interesting exercise, isn’t it? It can be scary, Kristin Schell says, to open ourselves to others, but is so rewarding and makes our lives richer.
Don’t be afraid to share.
Don’t wait for everything to be perfect.
Don’t shut people out – welcome them to the table instead.
Love. Generosity. Joy.
Say yes to life, jubilation, simple moments and gathering together under the shade of a tree on a summer afternoon or a starry nighttime sky. It’s the perfect season to share.