Just before a party I was giving, I eased into one of the chairs at the dinner table for a moment. The silver gleamed, the crystal sparkled, fresh flowers made a colorful centerpiece. I looked at the place card in front of me. "Margaret," it said. From out of my past came a memory of a story I once heard about a minister's wife who, during the week, would enter the empty church and move from pew to pew, praying for the person who usually sat in that spot. What if I sat in each chair around the table and prayed for each name? I wondered.
And that's what I did until I came to the last place card. Once that person had hurt me. I thought I'd forgiven her but now, as I mentally knelt before the Lord, I was still bitter. I didn't want to ask God to bless her.
It was difficult but, finally, I imagined myself kneeling beside her as Jesus put a hand on each of our heads. The hard knot of bitterness inside me began to dissolve.
There was a lot more than good food at the table that night. Among other things, there was a carefree, happy hostess!