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At the Table

My least favorite hour of the entire week is between 11 am and 12 pm on Wednesdays. That is when the clinic where I provide psychological services closes down and we have a big meeting called Case Conference. At Case Conference, different clinicians present cases to the entire clinical staff, typically cases which are interesting or particularly challenging. During the meeting, the other clinicians are expected to provide feedback on the case and offer suggestions to the presenter. I love listening to the insights that the senior clinicians bring to the table. You can tell that they love hearing about the cases and using their knowledge and experience to help their fellow coworker. I, on the other hand, am silent during the entire meeting!

A few weeks ago, my supervisor pulled me aside, smiled, and said in her gentle Georgia accent, “I notice that you’re silent during Case Conference. But know that Mephibosheth belongs at the table and so do you.”

I googled Mephibosheth when I got home.

It turns out that Mephibosheth’s story is found in the book of 2 Samuel. The story is kind of complicated, but here’s the quick version:

When Mephibosheth was five years old, his grandfather (King Saul) and father (Jonathan) died in battle. Because of their deaths a man named David became king over all of Israel. It was customary in those days that a new king kills all of the descendants of the previous king in order to prevent any future challenges to the throne. Fearing that David would kill Mephibosheth, the boy’s nurse took him and ran away, intending to hide her charge. But as they were fleeing, the boy fell, broke his legs, and lost his ability to ever walk again.

Still following? Hang in there, cause this is where it gets good!

It turns out that King David and Jonathan were best friends! So, many years down the line, King David finds out about Mephibosheth and, in honor of his friend, invites him to dine at the king’s table for the rest of his life!

So here’s a man who (because of who his grandfather was) should be dead and who is handicapped (imagine the stigma in those days), but he dines at the royal table every night! Mephibosheth belongs at the table because the king put him there.

At the next case conference, I spoke up, even though my voice trembled. And I kept speaking until my voice stopped trembling. I am at that table because I belong there. My King put me there.

“Don’t be afraid!” David said. “I intend to show kindness to you because of my promise to your father, Jonathan. I will give you all the property that once belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will eat here with me at the king’s table! (2 Samuel 8:7, NLT).

Jael Amador writes from New York, New York.

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About Jael Amador

Jael Amador

writes from New York, New York.

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