Family has always been a big deal for me. My parents raised me and my sister in the era of play outside and entertain yourselves, so we had to become fast friends. My mom and dad have been a team for just shy of 30 years. Needless to say our family unit has always been tight knit and fairly compact. So, when three foster children were introduced to the family unit in 2017, we had to loosen up and make room at our table. Somewhere between child proofing and re-introducing our household to Batman costumes and dollhouses, we found ourselves recognizing the sweetness of simple things like singing a prayer before dinner instead of speaking one.
I got to go home to visit my parents and the kids a while back, and they were hosting an adoption party for a couple in their foster-to-adopt group. A bunch of couples brought their kids - biological, fostered, and adopted - to our back yard to celebrate the adoption of two young boys that had previously been in the foster system.
That’s when I saw King David’s table.
Let me explain. There’s this story in 2 Samuel about the estranged and disabled son of Jonathan, son of Saul. David and Jonathan were best buds to the point that they made a covenant before God to watch out for one another’s descendants forever. After he’s been king for a while, David seeks out any descendant of Jonathan’s to whom he can show kindness to. Enter Mephibosheth, son of Jonathan. This guy has basically been living in hiding because (a) he’s lame in both feet and (b) since Saul and Jonathan’s death, he’s feared that David was out to kill him. So you can imagine Mephibosheth’s fear when King David summons him to the palace. You can also imagine his surprise when David invites him to eat at his table.
This is the point of the story that gets me. Mephibosheth is the grandson of the former king of Israel, a man that hunted David for years. He’s led his life as a fearful outcast. And here King David is, not just inviting him to dinner this once, but telling him that there will always be a seat as the King’s table for him.
“So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table like one of the King’s sons.”
That’s my hope for Treetop. That we’d make space at the King’s table for the fostered, orphaned and lost.