…you have a gift for hospitality, you love having people over, your husband loves inviting people over, and asks a visiting pastor to join us for a late dinner after church?
You hurt your back somehow, and while you’re functioning, it’s not 100%. And, you’re intentionally taking it easy so that your back will heal instead of getting worse. Which means that you’re doing laundry but not folding it, cooking, but waiting for your husband and teenager to help you clean the kitchen, and the Legos on the floor are immaterial to you at the moment.
It’s also Wednesday, the day of horseback riding lessons right after school, crockpot dinners served to children very quickly between lessons and the time to leave for church, and the day your husband typically has to meet you at church minutes before it begins because he is almost always invariably late leaving the office on Wednesday. Which means he also hasn’t been home to see just how bad it can be when I really don’t do much more than supervise children and destroy the kitchen. (And I was already mildly stressed about him coming home and seeing how bad it can be when I don’t do much more than supervise the children and destroy the kitchen.)
What do you do?
You ask your husband to stall five minutes while you rush home, three children in tow. Assessing the environment and determining what you have time to do and what you don’t have time to do, you shovel things into your room and shut the door, throw laundry baskets down the basement stairs and shut the door, whisk dishes off of the coffee table, sweep the dirt clods off of the couch that somehow made it from boy feet to the furniture, and set your teenager to the dining room to make sure that room, at least, has order.
When your five minute handicap is up, you smile and laugh away the boy mess as your guest arrives. You serve him homemade soup, fresh baked bread, and a crisp salad in the one clean room in the house.
And, you thank God for the opportunity to welcome a fellow brother into your home and break bread with him. To fellowship and enjoy meeting a new friend. For the opportunity to pray for him and have him pray for you.
In the end, hospitality is not about a perfect environment. It’s about making someone feel welcomed in your home, giving a traveling stranger a warm haven of rest, about letting the love of Christ show through your service in preparing and serving a meal.
I’m so grateful for your visit, today.
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