Clouds cried outside during a typical Pacific Northwest winter day. Inside, I peered out from the kitchen counter window into the dining room, listening to the sweetness that comes from two sisters playing.
Being pregnant with our oldest seems like forever ago, and the everything new feeling that penetrates the whole body is a fleeting memory. I look back fondly at that young, newly anticipating mother, with her dutifulness in reading about how to create a home for her first child. That mother wanted to give the absolute best she could offer, denying herself in honor of this little person who she was already creating a home for within.
As I finished loading the dishwasher, the girls clamored about with a determination to create. Before I knew it, our dining room table was transformed with glitter glue, paper clippings, stamps & ink. It was like ‘Fancy Nancy’ was making herself at home.
I remind myself that this is what it’s about.
Too often, I forget that making a home in my womb was only one part. This making of a home for these little people, my precious daughters, is an ongoing story.
As I sit down to enjoy the girls creating their art work, I sense God saying, “breathe in this moment & take a picture.” Sometimes I take a mental picture and store it away, this time I pull out the camera to capture the moment. It is to remind me that making a home for my girls is what Christ-like hospitality is all about.
When I’m busy creating food for others, or cleaning to create order for myself, I can forget that Jesus calls me, as their mother, to open my wings and gather them in. To embrace the mess, the bickering, the chaos and the unpredictability. And honestly, this is hard for me : the clutter, the need for constantly preparing food, for teaching manners, for loving through forgiveness & reconciliation.
Often times, I think of extending hospitality “out there” is easier, than “right here.” But, it convinces me more that hospitality is indeed messy. Jesus didn’t come to tend to those who were whole, but those who were broken. Mark writes, “When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So, he began teaching them many things.”
He had compassion on them.
I need this reminder daily, that Jesus has compassion on those who are like sheep without a shepherd. The least & the lost. The smal and the weak.
Will you dive into this messy hospitality within your homes that spills out from all corners and catches wind to the ends of the Earth? Will you join me in this unknown territory, this rich land of loving the lost & the least–our children? Let us see with Jesus eyes & love with God sized hearts, as the beauty of hospitality within our homes is redeemed; and, we become a blessing to the nations through it.