My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. John 14:2-3
The feeling of being stuck in a place you don’t belong is a particularly lousy feeling. I know a young fellow who told me his story of attending an introductory meeting for a student organization. He walked in the room, realized he was the only male student there, turned on his heel and took off. He all but ran out the door. Two things he knew. One, he didn’t belong there. Two, he wanted to get out the fastest way possible.
Some people live that feeling, all day every day. They feel like they don’t belong in their workplace, or on their campus, or even in their own family. Some people don’t know if there is a place for them, anywhere. I think a lot of us had that experience at one time or another, particularly in our teenage years.
Making a place for those without one is incredible ministry. My wife is extremely good at it. She has made a place at our table, literally and figuratively, for some who did not have a place. They shared all the love of our family. For however long they were there, they belonged with us.
Workplace diversity, at its best, accomplishes the same thing. It creates space for people who are so different they may not have a place of their own. A good manager can create an organization where people of different colors and genders and backgrounds and abilities can all be a celebrated part of the group. They can all belong. They can all have a place.
Ultimately, Jesus is preparing a perfect place for us, a place where we are safe and valued, a place we will belong forever. When you and I create a place for someone who doesn’t have one, we bring the Kingdom of God to earth. We make His will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Whether it is at the conference table or the dinner table, be a place-maker. You will be doing the very work of Christ.