I have a friend who visits his mother's burial site each year on the anniversary of her death. When the day comes, the mood is always solemn and deeply reflective--and tremendously difficult for other people in his life. What they don't know is that this annual ritual is generative, corrective. It helps anchor my friend for the rest of the year.
I have another friend who almost never visits his parents' gravesite.
If God is that small space left at the table, then go ahead and sit there if you like. Even if you weren’t invited, that doesn’t mean you aren’t welcome. Perhaps you were just overlooked, missed, as in they would have missed you and wished you were here if you hadn’t come . . . not forgotten only misplaced when places were set. Yes, there, wedge into that spot where John leans away to rest his head on Jesus . . . right next to Judas, where perhaps you’ll have time to whisper in his ear, or even chat a moment, just small talk you understand until supper starts.
The feet and legs of the homeless men we serve at the Bowery Mission in New York are a testimony to the pain they endure daily. Many of their legs are swollen because, like Jesus, they have nowhere to lay their head to rest.