(k)no(w) where to sit

I never knew where to sit. Every lunch period of every day of every year at school. I was liked by others, I think, or maybe more so tolerated. I’ll never know fully I suppose. All I remember is peering into the large cafeteria in the middle of the entrance with its heavy doors and push bars wondering and posing the internal question…”where do I sit?”

I was never hated in school, that I know of, but it doesn’t seem like I was much liked either. No enemy but no real friends. Maybe others felt ambivalence towards me. The one friend I did know in school never had the same lunch period as me but I knew his other friends wouldn’t have me at their table. So I either sat at the “nerd” table or the table my other friend from Lebanon sat at. Moe was his name. He was the only one who knew me there. I mean it was fine sitting there eating my paper bag lunch next to those who paid using a paper ticket while across the divide there was those eating the delectable round personal pizzas and sub-par cheesesteaks with french fries dipped in the ever so orange-colored ketchup & mayo combo.

It was awkward now knowing where to sit. Not sure if I “felt” rejected though now I know I was. You see, outright rejection is bad but there’s a certain sting when rejected not outrightly but knowing no one cared about you. Cared enough to offer the vacant stool or bench space next to them. I mean it’s school. Ignorant, self-absorption laced with a snub. Should I have expected better? Meh.

But it carried into every day life. Even before public school, when I was homeschooled, there was a girl who I played soccer with in the local community league. We also went to the same soccer camp during the summer…we even carpooled together. Then it was 8th grade and I was put in public school and she went to the same school and guess what…I was met with ambivalence. Not outright rejection but the subtle nagging rejection that creeps up to you when you were looking the other way. I’m pretty sure I remember that hurting.

Even today in adulthood where you’d think things would be different. But it’s not. Now I must confess I’m very introverted so I usually don’t go out of my way either to offer others friendship or simply the emptiness besides me. Maybe the emptiness beside me was from the emptiness inside me? I recall oftentimes where maybe a church gathering occurred or there were open seating for a group discussion or a potluck meal and I would usually sit at an empty circle. Secretly waiting inside me to see if anyone wanted to sit with me and sometime people did but usually they stuck with who they knew and sat with them. I remember the one time I did similar and the pastor of the church saw how no one sat at my table and mentioned it to me. He wasn’t too happy about how it went down.

But one day at a men’s retreat something happened…and is still happening. During a quiet time I saw myself in my mind’s eye in the entry way of my high school cafeteria carrying the baggage which was my question, “Who can I sit with?” With those heavy doors propped open and a full cafeteria I saw a wave. The kind of wave you make when you are picking someone out of the crowd to let them know where you are. The kind of wave that beckons. The kind of wave that shouts, “Hey I’m over here!” meaning I want you here too. That’s the kind of wave I saw. So I saw it and walked over, passing the ambivalence. Passing the lack of turned head. Passed the lack of friendship. Passed the rejection. Passed the lack of everything everyone in school wanted. And into a place prepared for me. An empty space. An empty space not vacant for anyone but reserved for a someone. A place at the head of the table. A place of honor. A place where everyone who is there knows you. And who waved me over? None other than Jesus. And what He told me, broke me.

He said, “You’ll always have a place at my table.”


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Copyright by Jordan Gresczyk 5/7/2018



  1. Jordan, I suspect that kind of experience is a form of fear, one I’m quite familiar with still, still being a bit shy although current friends have trouble believing that. The Lord delivered me from the “fear of their faces” many years ago. These days, when I realize that there are other people out there who are shy, introverted and fearful, and I make an effort to seek them out and deliberately sit next to them, it puts things into perspective for me. There is an enemy who would love to bottle us up and prevent others from receiving ministry from us – we need to STOMP on him. Here’s a post I wrote some time ago about being delivered from that horribly depressing type of fear. https://estherspetition.wordpress.com/2014/06/28/fear-of-their-faces-testimony-part-three/
    Blessings, Bette Cox, Florence, SC, USA.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yeah I was treated the same. I was always alone and if I sat with anyone, they’d be the ones to ridicule and make fun of me later.
    I praise Jesus for loving us!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Being a powerful empath, reading your blog brought me to tears. ….and release. Not really sure what the tears were triggered by. Something much deeper within your words that I relate to I would guess.

    Or, the fact as a 53 year old mother of 6 (combined family) that’s been parenting children under the age of 18 for 31 years with 6 more years to go, watching my 7th grade daughter who is a definite introvert, struggle with the change in friends she is suddenly going through it perhaps brought me tears for her.

    Enjoyed the read. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hello,

    This is a definite real scenario. There are so few people with real agape love at Church. Especially, big churches. I currently attend two different churches. One is baptist medium sized, est like 400, also a small one about 50. This problem exist in both. Many times I feel the responsibility even when brand new, that I have to bring Christ to them, because there such a lack of Christ there. At the baptist Church, in the about a year and a half of going, ive had one couple invite me to sit with them.

    Guess its up to us honestly, to bring Christ with us inside us to the church. Becsuse if we sit around waiting, we will be left standing alone.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is incredibly beautiful and oh-so-relatable to me. In fact, for a while there, I found ways to not to even go to lunch at all for fear of this occurrence, whether it was needing to “catch up” on classroom work, or, later, throwing myself into practice for drama class-my main solace. As an adult, I admit I throw myself into helping youth. I think the reasons are twofold: 1) I don’t want them to feel what I felt and 2) I STILL feel this ambivalence with other adults. Kids are kinder to me now than when I was one. 😏 But, yes, indeed, you draw out the most important thing-the comforting truth that keeps me going-Jesus always has a place at the table for us! I don’t know what I’d do without Him. Thanks for following me recently or I never would’ve discovered this wonderful post! Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love this post! Thank you for reminding us all that Jesus not only notices each one of us, He loves each and every one. He sees each of us as valuable, precious, a person He wants a relationship with. How exciting! May we never forget this truth. God bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

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