The Heart Of Man: Overcoming Shame And Finding Identity

Day 1 of 7 • This day’s reading



“There is a longing in the deepest parts of us--to belong. The hope that there is a table somewhere, around which we might actually be comfortable in our own skin. We don’t have to hide. We don’t have to keep our secrets. There’s always been a community of relationship. We are designed for that.”

The Heart of Man shows us a good, trustworthy Father who stands at the head of the table, affirming, enjoying and loving each one of us, no matter what season of life we are in. Family, friends and newcomers to the community all sit together, some entering with others into hard places, others celebrating each other, and all enjoying a meal made with extravagant love. 

The depth and goodness of the relationships provide an atmosphere where pain and loss, grief and loneliness do not carry the same power as they would in isolation. And healing is not just a theory, but an ongoing practice that takes place day in and day out. Perhaps you have experienced this kind of community and safety – most likely you have longed for it.

Even at this bountiful table or community, however, we notice something very early on. Not all of us are able to fully enjoy the meal. Sometimes we’re preoccupied and struggle to stay in the moment. Maybe that’s how it is for you, too. Half here, with friends or family, and half in your own head . . . islands away. 

But never the Father. He is always there, and He sees what no one else can. Even while He is blessing and enjoying everyone at the table, He understands that we are islands away, and He’s already planning how He will bring us back home. 

Reflection: When you imagine sitting at the Father’s table, how does it make you feel? Why?