I believe there are Moses-moments that all of us will encounter.
Experiences that we walk through; things that happen to us that change us forever.
They may come unbidden or unwanted. They may be a result of our choosing, or of another’s choices. But the result is nevertheless the same—we change permanently. From that moment forward we are different.
That is what happened to me in that room full of tables. I was about to encounter a burning bush, though I wasn’t aware of it. Oh, I had a vague “awareness” of where I thought God might be going, but I didn’t see that table for what it was—not at first.
As I began to set all the pieces in place: dishes, utensils, napkins, people who were doing the same with their own tables, began to notice the disparity of my “creation” with the rest of the room.
I truly was an ordinary brown sparrow in a room full of peacocks!
My “little vision” to some of those ladies, seemed grossly out of place in that ocean of flowers, and china and crystal. I wasn’t surprised by their dismay, but the outright offense of some—stunned me.
When I reached into that box, to pull the broken shards of what had once been a beautiful jar, and arranged all those broken pieces as my centerpiece, with the book, and basin, and towel, and poem?
I was not prepared for the outright rejection of what I had created.
Was BROKEN so bad; so scurrilous?
I do remember I said a quick prayer that they would somehow understand my heart’s intention, and I left, hoping I hadn’t made a dreadful mistake.
What if they removed my things after I was gone? What then?
Would the ladies assigned to table eleven show up tomorrow and find nowhere to sit?
I was dreading the next day’s event.
I walked in wearing a plain black jersey dress; black stockings. I took a simple flour-sack dish towel for an apron, tied it in a knot, in the back.
I inhaled slowly, deep breath, and removed my shoes placing them under my “hostess” chair.
(I felt the LORD Himself had asked me to do this.)
Then I waited.
I said another silent prayer that the ladies at my table would not be hurt or offended at their “gifts.”
As I lifted my eyes to survey the room, I saw women gathered in small groups; some whispering; some openly glaring; a few smiling. “Were those smiles of approval or mocking?” I wondered.
I looked down at my mud-brown bowls of brokenness and baked clay. Bowls with offerings of what I hoped would be tender encouragement. Basins with soap and towel and poem. Would these small “ordinary-offerings” be accepted, or rejected?
(Ever wish a floor could swallow you whole?)
One by one the ladies assigned to table eleven arrived. Each surprised at first; at the gifts. At the pains, I had taken for them. They read the poem, studied the jar in the center of our table, and they marveled at what they were seeing. Each “saw it” coming from Him—for them!
It was perfect.
It was holy.
It was their Moses-moment.
I was only the server that day—He was The Host, and He met each one in their personal point of need.
I sat listening intently to each lady as they told their stories, marveling to myself. The things they were going through; the struggles each one had; the way the bowls and the poem and the jar “spoke” to their hearts. There was nothing “random” about who He had chosen for Table Eleven—not even me! God had prepared a burning bush for each one, to remind us all, that though we are broken, we are all The Chosen by Him, to make a difference in this broken world, for Him.
The best part of my story I save for last.
She was not seated at our table, but I believe she was perhaps the most blessed that day.
If table eleven was for anyone in that room, it was FOR HER.
I don’t know who she was. She walked up to the table without a word. Stood at a little distance, hanging back.
When I turned and looked at her, our eyes locked.
I will never forget the pain I saw in those eyes.
Tears were flooding down her cheeks as she looked at that big broken jar. Big, beautiful, crocodile tears.
She looked back to me and silently mouthed the words, “Thank you.”
Then she walked away.
In the day’s events, it was a brief moment. That was all. That was enough. I have carried that “thank you” in my heart from that day to this.
(It was for me.)
It was my Moses-moment.