Soul Food Advent Blog Series 2018: 'Room at the Table'
Guest blogger: Yvonne Lyon
As an artist and performer, I’m afraid I fall into that classic stereotype of self doubt coupled with being crippled by the paradoxical need for perfectionism. Throw in some mild depression and sometimes it can be a very tricky place to live and work. If we’re honest, I’m sure a high percentage of us live with ‘imposter syndrome’ no matter what walk of life you journey. That sense of not feeling worthy, or good enough even although you are made in the image and likeness of the Divine. That sense of still accepting the crumbs from the table rather than taking our place and enjoying the banquet we’ve been invited to. At some point we need a shift in our thinking - metanoia, a greek word that I’ve discovered recently and the name of my new album.
An interesting thing happened to me at the beginning of last year which encouraged that shift in thinking for me. I had just been reading Jesus parable of the banquet. I sensed God was speaking to me about taking my place at the table. At the same time my friend texted me with a ‘word’ saying she felt I was going to be ‘taking new territory’. I had been given the opportunity to sing on BBC Radio Scotland and also to open for one of Scotland’s finest singer songwriters (and a hero of mine) at the Royal Concert Hall as part of Celtic Connections.
Of course the ‘shadow’ self was telling me how I didn’t really belong here, that there are much better artists, writers, and singers and there was a loud voice in my ear saying ‘just who do you think you are?’. However, as I finished singing my song ‘live’ I was invited across the room and found myself literally sitting at the table with the head of Celtic Connections on live radio talking about the healing power of music. I then had a magical experience opening for my musical hero at The Royal Concert Hall who turned to me at the end of the night and said ‘We made a beautiful thing tonight. You can dine on that for a long time’. He had no idea of the significance of what he had just said. When I got home that night an old Sunday School song based on the Song of Songs came to mind.
‘I am my beloved and He is mine
And His banner over me is love’
which then goes on to sing
‘He brought me to his banqueting table
And His banner over me is love’
As Richard Rohr says, ‘the question of heaven is not one of worthiness before God but accepting God’s invitation for life’.
The magic that I felt in those moments at the table reminded me of C.S Lewis and his magical kingdom of Narnia. In The last Battle, it is the Unicorn that declares;
‘I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life though I never knew it till now.’
Jesus incarnation that we celebrate at Christmas reminds us that we are all made in the image and likeness of God. The wedding feast reminds me that we are all meant for final and loving union with the Divine. Let’s accept our invitation to the table, to the banquet of life, here and now and dare I say it...enjoy!
Yvonne Lyon is a Scottish singer-songwriter. Find out more about Yvonne and listen to her music on her website: www.yvonnelyonmusic.com