Sometimes there are people at our table (and in our lives) who make us absolutely uncomfortable. They are different from us. They have different interests. We are unfamiliar with their worldview. It can be difficult.
Watch this clip from “The Break Up” as Gary (played by Vince Vaughn) experiences tremendous discomfort at the table. This scene follows a build up of tension in the relationship between Gary and Brooke (played by Jennifer Aniston). Members of each of their families have gathered for dinner, including Gary’s two brothers and Brooke’s brother, Richard. Richard and Gary are very different and might even make each other a little uncomfortable.
In this scene, both men are causing other people discomfort. On the one hand, Richard’s singing and insistence that everyone joins in makes Gary feel very awkward. Gary’s unwillingness to play along makes Brooke feel embarrassed.
For individual or family reflection:
Story time! Tell each other about a time when you were in an uncomfortable situation like Gary and Richard and Brooke.
- Who handled this situation with the most grace?
- What could each person have done better?
- What could Brooke have done to make the situation more comfortable?
- Whose experience makes more sense to you? Are you more like Richard or more like Gary?
Just for kids:
- Have you ever been somewhere that you did not know many people?
- What was that like?
- Were you able to get more comfortable as time went on?
- What could you have done to make yourself more comfortable?
- What could someone else have done for you that would have helped you feel more comfortable?
Read Luke 7:36-50.
This scene features a woman who, because of her past and status, makes the other guests uncomfortable. And she does something that makes them even more uncomfortable. They have a hard time accepting her presence and her actions. They judge her. But Jesus explains to the Pharisee that she has done a great thing and points out that he did no such thing. Jesus welcomes her gesture and forgives her sins. Jesus shows her grace that the other refused to show.
This week, think about the ways we can show love and grace to those in our midst who we might be too quick to judge. When someone makes you uncomfortable, consider how you might extend patience and forgiveness.
Pray (to yourself or with your family) for God to put people on your path this week who need to experience grace from you. Pray that you will see their need and show them love.