The roads.

“What’s the word,” I asked Nancy.

“You are writing?” she said. We had been debating whether or not to take the week off writing since we are spending the week traveling and visiting.

“Highway,” she said. And smiled.

We’d been staring at the Interstate for the past six hours. The word seemed obvious.

In my head, a song started to play. “Out in the highways and byways of life,” the first verse starts, “many are weary and sad.” It’s a song that picks up on a story that Jesus told and turns it into a waltz. (Of course, in most of the churches where that song was learned, dancing was frowned on, but it was a waltz nonetheless.)

I didn’t spend much time on the song, however. I thought about the story that Jesus had told. A man plans a dinner and sends out a hold the date. When the date comes, none of the invited guests is available. Something has come up.

The man, understandably, is annoyed. There is food. He wants to, he loves to, he’s built to share, to practice amazing hospitality. When people are at one of his parties, they feel like they belong. But they have to give up control of the menu. They don’t get to pick the entertainment. They don’t get to pick the seating arrangements.

But it is so worth it.

So the man sends his servants out to the streets, to the highways and byways. “Bring in the people who are poor and begging, who are at the edges of everything, who have no hope of ever sitting at the table. Tell them they have to come.”

The people who thought they had nothing to offer the host, who thought they had no hope, ended up at the table.

How cool is that?


(From Luke 14 and the middle of Iowa.)

One thought on “The roads.

  1. Paul Merrill

    I love that the host opens the table to the “poor and begging, who are at the edges of everything.” That totally describes me, even on the days when I don’t feel or look that way.


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