The Red Tent Dinner

You come hungry for the story that was lost.  You crave words to fill the great silence…

–Anita Diamant

Story.  What is your story?  Do you believe your story is worth telling?  Do you think it has significance?  Our stories are more than a random series of events.  They are more than the people we know and the places we’ve been.  They are an intimate portrait of what God is doing and has done in our lives.  Dan Allender writes, “Our story is truer than any other reality we know, and each of us must discover the meaning of what God has written as our life story.”  By exploring and telling our life stories, we can come to gain further insight into who we are and who God is.  We can come to know “what most deeply moves us and then to live it out for the sake of others.”

In her novel, The Red Tent, Anita Diamant recreates a world were women do not forsake the ritual of storytelling.  The story is narrated by Dinah, Jacob’s only daughter, as told in the book of Genesis.  Dinah takes us into a world where women gather once a month under a red tent to relinquish their duties and celebrate their femininity.  The red tent is a sacred place where monthly blood is shed and new life is birthed.  It is a place of cleansing, preparation, gratitude, and rest—a place where voices resound, silence is broken, and hope restored.  In the red tent, women tell their stories and the truth is known.

The Red Tent Dinner is an opportunity to look deeper into our lives at the stories yet to be told.  It is a chance to uncover the meaning that God has written into our life story and to invite other women into that journey.  It is an invitation for more—more community, more intimacy with God, and more passion and focus for the future.  It’s an occasion to come together and celebrate our femininity by sharing the many stories that unite us.  Once a month, we will gather together over food and drink to share the stories of our lives.  Each month will focus on a different theme—stories of life and loss; stories of hope and disappointment; stories from our past and our present.  Every woman must come prepared to share a story specific to that month’s theme.  In addition to sharing, each woman will respond to the stories told around the table.  In both sharing and responding, the anticipation is that our words will be like offerings of hope and strength to one another, helping us to uncover the deeper truth about who we are and better equipping us to minister to one another.  The Red Tent dinner is a chance to expand the possibilities for reaching out to the women our lives.  It is an opportunity for silence to be broken, the truth known, and hope restored.  Come, bearing your stories, come, ready for change…

“Let’s engage the Author of our story so we can enter into the joy he holds before us if we live out our story for the sake of others.  If we come to know our story and then give it away, we will discover the deepest meaning in our lives.”  –Dan Allender