The Blog of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

November 07, 2012

Who's at Your Table?

By: 
Elizabeth Toman

Holly and I have been friends for six years, but I never imagined that being friends would graduate into being part of her family. Our tastes in books, movies, religion, and hobbies are completely different. But she is one of the most loyal friends I have.

We met at my former company. She reached out to me, and we started having lunch every few weeks. A friendship soon emerged. When she got engaged (within six weeks of our first meeting), I was one of the first to know. That surprised me; I hadn’t realized I was in her inner circle of friends. Lest my head get too big, I took in her gentle hints about a “private, family-only wedding” and reconciled myself to not going. When I opened up my mailbox and saw her invitation, I was speechless. Family only. Was I family?

When Holly and Aaron got pregnant a year-and-a-half later, it became even more apparent that yes, I was family. I now count their daughter, Annie, as one of my nieces.

The Goodness of Monday-Evening Meals

On any given Monday evening, you will find us all in the living room playing or at their kitchen table eating supper together. During these meal times, especially, with the normal activities of refilling glasses with milk and cleaning spaghetti off the floor, we share our lives with one another. Topics range from one another’s struggles to world issues, and even though our views about life differ on so many levels, their willingness to have an open dialogue with me has opened up opportunities to be Jesus to them. I hope, as we discuss and share, that they see me as flawed and needing Jesus just as much as they do.

I can’t pick out a single meal and say that it was the turning point in our relationship. What I do know is that slowing down and eating together is essential in maintaining the depth of our friendship. Through our times together, they see that my being a Christian doesn’t mean I have everything figured out. In fact, it’s the very reason why I must rely on Jesus. I’m praying that they will soon realize it for themselves. In the meantime, I'm looking forward to next Monday.

Elizabeth Toman, an InterVarsity alumna, serves on the Urbana 12 team as the Associate Director of Operations for Systems. When she’s not planning for 18,000 people to experience God in St. Louis, she’s sharing stories from past Urbanas with her friends or playing volleyball.

***

Urbana 12 and ACT:S are challenging you to share an intentional meal with someone who lives differently than you, to learn what you have in common and what you can learn from each other. On Wednesdays in November and December, we’ll be posting stories from InterVarsity staff and alumni about intentional meals they’ve shared with others—and all the good that comes from it.

(This was originally posted on World Vision's ACT:S blog.)

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