During that difficult time, we hurt one another with our words, with our actions...and perhaps the worst of all, with our silence. A silence that remained for the better part of thirteen years.
Until one of them reached out two years ago and suggested we meet for lunch.
I had not seen one of these sisters at all since the split, another only a handful of times and the third, though we were in contact, it was random and limited. So, it was with lots of trepidation that I walked into that first restaurant in the summer of 2012. I was unsure of how I would be received. I was wary that we might not have anything in common anymore. And I wasn't sure if the forgiveness was real...mine or theirs.
As we gathered around that first table, it didn't take long for the conversation to move from stilted to lively. We shared about our families, our church homes and what the Lord was doing in our lives. Each month, as we shared our hearts and our stories, I could feel a healing happening within.
When we gathered at a popular Mexican restaurant last fall and bowed our heads to pray over the food, I had a overwhelming feeling that the Lord was whispering to my soul, "Fonda, this moment is My grace." I thought of how others looking on might see one picture (that of friends gathered for a meal) but really it was a miracle of forgiveness, grace and a love that goes much deeper than our emotions.
From that moment on when it was time to enter our next date on the calendar I wrote "Table of Grace".
Today we met at that very first restaurant once again. And I had the opportunity to share my heart with these beautiful sisters about our gatherings. There was confession and tears and offers of forgiveness. In other words, there was Grace.
I'm sure it wasn't our last difficult conversation. I know that each of us carries wounds that need healing. But I am also sure that our God who began a good work in us will continue it until completion.
The Table of Grace. It's not one, single table. Actually, it's not a table at all.