While hiking the return trip of a long trail in the Smokies with Charis, my six year old, she turned to me and said, “Mama, tell me a story. A long one.” I knew she was running out of gas fast and needed a distraction. So I began with the story of “a little boy who took care of sheep and sang songs of love to God under the stars.”
With full animation, I told her about Saul and Samuel, Goliath, and David’s wife, Michal. Then I launched into the story about a cripple named Mephibosheth and David’s pursuing him:
“Mephibosheth looked out over the horizon and saw dust stirring in the distance and knew someone was coming. Then the servants called out, ‘It’s the king’s horses!!’ Mephibosheth’s heart froze. ‘The king? Surely this is the day I DIE!’ ”
(Charis looked up with a gasp.)
“The riders rode into the remote village and stopped in front of the crippled man’s house. They gruffly called out, ‘The king summons you.’
All the sandy, dusty ride there, Mephibosheth looked at his mangled, useless feet. He looked at his worn and faded clothes. ‘So this is it. After all these years of fearing death because I am a descendant of Saul, David’s enemy, my turn has come. My grandfather is dead. My father is dead. And now me.’
But instead of death, King David offered something much different.”
Something rippled in my spirit. And in God’s loving way, while I told my daughter a story, He told His daughter a story, too.
“The great hall was beyond Mephibosheth’s imagination. As he dragged his feet along with crutches you could hear the sound echo — tap, slide, tap, slide, tap, slide. Closer and closer the cripple came to the throne, and his death. When he finally dared to lift his eyes to the king, instead of judgment and fury, he saw arms spread wide open and a broad smile. Then David spoke.
‘Mephibosheth because I loved your father, because I swore an oath to him, and he to me, all that is mine is yours. You will live in my palace, you will be my son, you will dine with me at my table. . . .’ ”
My voice caught in my throat as I said it.
Charis looked up at me and took my hand. “You okay, Mama?”
“Yep,” I said as I cleared my throat. “It is too good to believe. Just because David loved Mephibosheth’s father, he will would live the rest of his life in a king’s house and eat at a king’s table. Just like God loved our father, Abraham. The same promise is for us, Charis.”
And the ripples continued.
Two days later I was worshipping and listening to one of my favorite team of artists, Shane and Shane. The song, Carry Away randomly came on. I have heard that song a thousand times. But this day I heard for the first time the line, “and I dine with you…only you, Lord.” I thought my rejoicing spirit was going to blow the cars off the interstate like some kind of super power blast.
Oh crippled woman that I was, to be pursued out in the desert, only to dine at the King’s table and be called His daughter.
at what point did i,
did i know that i would be around?
at what point did i,
did i know that i would be found?
and dine with You
carry away my mind, carry me away
carry away my mind
carry away my time, sweep me away
carry away my time
who gave the right to interrupt my life
with thoughts of You
needless to say, i bid my rights good day
i’m here to live and dine with You
only You. Lord
if You will lead on
forsake not Your song in me
Jesus, song in me
(Philippians 1:6; 4:8, John 6:44; 6:65, Romans 12:2)