Come as You Are

We all get invitations to certain events or activities. I got this invitation in the mail for a dinner party. It stated to ” come as you are ” on the invitation. As I arrived, I wasn’t sure it was the right place. I shook my head in disbelief. This couldn’t be the right place. After all, I couldn’t possibly be welcomed here. I had been given an invitation several times, by several different people, ( thought it was Amway or something), but I had finally decided to see what this place was all about. But, this just couldn’t be the right place. I glanced down at the invitation in my hand. I scanned past the words, “COME AS YOU ARE. NO JACKET REQUIRED.” I was in the right location.

I looked through the window and saw a room full of people whose faces seemed to glow with joy. All were neatly dressed in fine garments and appeared strangely clean as they dined at this exquisite restaurant. Ashamed, I looked down at my own tattered clothing, covered in stains. I was dirty, in fact filthy. A foul smell seemed to consume me and I couldn’t shake the grime that clung to my body. As I turned around to leave, the words from the invitation seemed to leap out at me. “COME AS YOU ARE. NO JACKET REQUIRED.”
I decided I had come this far and I would give a shot. I opened the door to this restaurant and walked up to a man standing behind a podium. “Your name, miss?” he asked with a smile. I mumbled without looking up “Wendy.” He didn’t seem to notice the filth that I was covered in and he continued, “Very good, miss. A table is reserved in your name. Would you like to be seated?” In shock, I said “Yes, sure.”
He led me to a table and, sure enough, there was a placard with my name written on it in a deep, dark red. As I looked over the menu I saw things like, “peace, joy, blessings, confidence, assurance, hope, love, faith, and mercy.” I realized that this was no ordinary restaurants. I flipped the menu back to the front to see the name of the restaurant. “God’s Grace” was on the front. The man returned and said, ” I recommend the “special of the day.” With it, you are entitled to heaping portions of everything on this menu.” I was getting excited and asked what the special was. He said, “Salvation.” I shouted out almost immediately, “I’ll take it.” But as quickly as I made the statement, the joy left my body A sick, painful ache jerked through my stomach and tears filled my eyes ” Mister, look at me. I am dirty and nasty. I am unclean and unworthy of these things. I would love to have all of this, but, I just can’t afford it.” The man smiled again. “Miss, your check has already been taken care of by that Gentleman over there. His name is Jesus.”
I went over towards Him and in a shaking voice I whispered, “Sir, I will wash the dishes or sweep the floors or take out the trash. I will do anything I can to repay you for all of this.” He opened His arms and said with a smile, “Daughter, all of this is yours. I will clean you up and take away the stains and allow you to feast at My table if you only ask. Remember, the table is reserved in your name. All you must do is ask and accept this gift that I offer you.”
I fell at His feet and said, “Please, Jesus. Please clean up my life. Please change me and seat me at Your table and give me this new life.” Immediately, I heard the words, “IT IS FINISHED.” Something strange and wonderful had happened. I felt new, like a weight had been lifted, and I found myself seated at His table. He said, “The ‘special of the day’ has been served. Salvation is yours.”
We sat and talked for a long time and I really enjoyed this time. He told me, me of all people, that He would like me to come back as often as I liked for another helping from God’s Grace. He made it clear that He wanted me to spend as much time with Him as possible. As it came time for me to go back into the “real world,” He whispered to me softly, ” And Wendy, I am with you always.”
As i was leaving Jesus said something to me that I will never forget. He said, “My daughter, do you see these empty tables throughout this room?” I said that I did and then I asked what did it mean. He said, These are reserved tables, but the individuals whose names are on each placard has not accepted their invitation to dine. Would you be so kind as to hand out these invitations to those who have not joined us yet?” “Of course I will.” He said as I left with the invitations, “Go ye therefore into all nations.”
I walked into God’s Grace dirty and hungry. Stained in sin. My righteousness as filthy rags. And Jesus cleaned me up. I walked out a brand new woman, robed in white. And so I will keep my promise to my Lord. I’ll go. I’ll spread the Word. I’ll share the Gospel. I will hand out the invitations.

Listening to my father preach this to the church, really touched my heart. I thought this would be a good story to share right here at Thanksgiving. As we sit down to feast with our families and friends, JUST COME AS YOU ARE!!!

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6 thoughts on “Come as You Are

  1. Wow Wendy! What a MARVELOUS story!! Sounds like me, too! This is the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous in our eyes! I love this narrative. It reminds me of the hymn,
    COME AND DINE
    HEAR JESUS CALLING
    COME AND DINE
    YOU CAN EAT AT THE MASTER’S TABLE ANY TIME

    Thanks for a this allegorical narrative.

  2. Oh Wendy I love this story, “Come as You Are.” May we all think upon this story. We like your story says have been called and have a name plate waiting for us to sit down. We have all been called. Just maybe this day someone else will take the plunge and sit at Jesus’ table. The Jesus who sets us free. The Jesus who cares about us and loves us. The one who has the power to clean us up spiritually. The one who never gives up on us. The one who loves us just the way we are. The one who loves us and cleans us up to be the one God called us to be. The one who made us the only one like us in the whole wide world. The one who is calling us to do something for him that no one else can do because He made us special for the part He has chosen us to do. The Jesus who loves us so deeply that He died on the cross. Thanks Wendy for sharing this light to the nations to come and dine with the Lord.

  3. “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul…” (Psalm 23:1-3).

    Our soul is where the enemy tries to wound us and hold us back. Our soul is where we may have brokenness from the past, or hurts and disappointments. When God restores our soul, He brings His healing power to those broken places. He makes us whole again and “…He prepares a table before us in the presence of our enemies.”

    God prepares a table before us each day, where He sits with us and feeds us His Word. God delights to speak to Wendy in our story and all who will listen. He only requires that we listen, by responding to the invitation. And by allowing The Holy Spirit to impart His words in our innermost being. This gives the nourishment and strength to overcome obstacles in our lives and help in the lives of others. In other words Chickenfarmer, you overcome the Ninjas that are after you. (your dream)….

    Thanks to your Dad and His anointing preaching. May God bring many to ‘His Table’ from the preaching of your Dad.

  4. Thank you Wendy for sharing what your Dad preached….I could just hear George Beverly Shea(spelling)…and all the other singers singing “Just as I am without one plea, but that Thy blood was shed for me, and that Thou biddest me come to Thee, O Lamb of God, I come, I come!”..(C. Elliott/Woodworth……Isaiah 55:1…HO, everyone who is athirst, come…without money…and without price….

  5. Chickenfarmer, your Dad’s story that you shared made me think of a chorus we sing from Song of Solomon 2:4 “He brought me to His banqueting table and His banner over me was love”. The story illustrates so beautifully that he wastes no time in cleaning us up, and then giving us the responsibility of going forth to be a living ‘advertising sign’…a banner… of His powerful love. Thanks to both for sharing it.

  6. “The ‘special of the day’ has been served. Salvation is yours.”

    Jesus has offered each and everyone of us, salvation. We don’t have to be perfectly dressed, or come into His presence, adorned with “the finer things of life.” We just have to “come as we are”, and accept it. Thank you, Wendy, for reminding us of the free gift of salvation. May we all be reminded of how thankful we are to have salvation this Thanksgiving season.

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