A Place at the Table—A Table at the Place
By Eileen Turner of Newberg, OR, USA
Brothers and sisters, do not be weary in doing what is right. —2 Thessalonians 3:13 NRSV
At Director’s Square in the inner city of Portland, Oregon, something unique is happening. Toddlers paddle about in a fountain while parents watch. Large chess pieces are available for people to play a game in the middle of a busy work week. There is a tiny restaurant where workers can pick up their midday meal and eat in the sunshine.
But every Wednesday, there is a businessman in his suit and tie carrying his briefcase. He sits at a table set with fine dinnerware. For one full hour, he sits there with no food, no beverage—just empty plates, silverware, and a goblet.
His silent message is that on this day, his lunch money goes to feed the hungry. Until a picture and an article appeared in The Oregonian, he was just a spectacle to those who wondered what he was doing.
This businessman had undoubtedly walked by the many homeless and hungry as he walked the streets of the city. But somehow, one day he discovered a way to make a statement—a way to make a difference.
Each of us can make a difference in another’s life. Christ modeled that behavior so we could change the circumstances that surround us.
Prayer for Peace
Compassionate God, help us find ways to make a difference. Help us simplify our lives and make responsible choices for peace.
Read and reflect on John 21:15–17 as a meditation. Direct your mind to places where people have no homes. Think of the wars and natural disasters that destroy the homes of refugees. Be aware of the hungry and homeless, who wander the streets or live in shelters. Let the images fill your mind. Offer a prayer for those who suffer. Imagine Christ is tending those sheep. Think of ways you might end their suffering as part of your mission. Throughout the day, carry in your mind the voice of Christ saying: “Feed my lambs…tend my sheep…feed my sheep.”
Today, God, I will look at my calendar to plan which days I can skip a meal.