By: Magen Thetford
Nestled under a canopy of trees strung with an abundance of twinkle lights was an unending, rectangular table. It was dressed with pristine white table cloths, candles arranged in varying heights, a bounty of flowers adorning the middle, and each place purposefully set with the finest of china and flatware. It was a stunning sight to behold.
At first glance, I felt unworthy to approach such a table, but I couldn’t resist how it drew me in. Multiple generations of women filled every chair, eagerly awaiting the dining experience. I took my place. Suddenly, a man walked in with quiet and gentle confidence, not demanding attention but drawing every eye nevertheless. I couldn’t help but notice His presence so strong, sturdy, radiant, and whole. It was Jesus taking His place at the table to feast among His daughters.
His gaze locked on my eyes, and His hands gently held mine.
I was seen in that moment. It was as though His eyes were piercing through me and looking to the deepest parts of my soul, even the features I try so hard to hide from everyone else. The shame, fear, guilt, regret, and insecurities all exposed in a glance. One might expect judgment from a Being so Holy staring at the worst parts of you, but all I saw was tremendous love and grace. All I felt was freedom and peace. Everything else at that table disappeared except for Him.
That vision has been like a dream that is so brilliantly beautiful that you just want to go back to sleep and experience it again and again. For months, I have processed through it, wondering what God might want me to do with it. It reminds me of the story in John 1:46-48.
Nathanael said to Philip. “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?“
Philip said to him, “Come and see.”
Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!”
Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?”
Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”
Nathanael, with all of his doubts, was invited to come and see Jesus. Upon meeting Him, he quickly realized he was fully seen and known. Did Nathanael’s heart start pounding in his chest when he realized that Jesus knew the deepest parts of him? Did tears start streaming down his face as joy pierced his weary heart? Did Jesus’ glance wash away every doubt and fear he had leading up to those moments?
The stunning truth is that the same Jesus from that story already knows you intimately in the exact same way. He sees where you are and what you are walking through in this season of life. He longs to welcome you into His loving presence so that all of your hidden places can find rest in Him.
If you find yourself with the same longings as me, will you join the others who have said “yes” to this table? It might take bravery on your part, but I believe there are women like you and me who long to find meaningful community and feel deeply seen, fully known, and completely loved by our Good Father. This is my hope for the table and my invitation to you. Come and see.