She sat alone at the cafeteria table. Taller than anyone else in our third-grade class, the new girl peered out from behind thick glasses. She needs a friend, I thought. I knew Jesus wanted me to love my neighbor. But what if my friends didn’t understand? I knew what to do. But I hesitated.
That long-ago day, I finally walked over to meet Lorena, sit with her, and listen. It was one of the better things I’ve ever done, although it cost me something over the years. My new friend had already been so wounded—by a world that hadn’t made her feel utterly loved and precious—that our friendship was not always easy.
Then, I began noticing the ways my other friends braved their fears and welcomed others. We were young children, but we got the message. We could trust God to make more than enough room—at our tables, in our friendships, in our hearts for everyone.
This message is an excerpt from “Changing tables” by Elizabeth Hunter in the March 2020 issue of Gather magazine.