We all have good intentions to have people over. Most of us have a welcome mat. We keep our yard trimmed. The house may not be organized but it is generally clean. Sometimes it's dusty. There's a stain on the carpet. The dogs shed but overall it's respectable. We work, straighten throughout the week and on the weekends we clean and run errands. Other than work, school and church, our social calendar is lacking, especially when it comes to having people over. We don't have many guests because we forget the most important part....inviting them.
We have a neighbor a couple of streets over who has a regular stream of visitors. Church friends, school friends, work friends all seem to be enjoying a slice of cake or a relaxed dinner. It all seems so homey and 1950s. "Finchy," she'll say, "Stop by for coffee, let's visit." It's so friendly and hospitable that I feel obliged to go and honestly have such a lovely time when I'm there. She makes it easy, casual and relaxed. It's never a big thing, just dessert. Maybe a glass of tea while leaning against her kitchen counter. One time our dryer crapped out just as I started a load of dark jeans. I posted on Facebook requests for repairman suggestions and while everyone was commenting on who to call, my neighbor suggested I load up the wet laundry and drive around the corner to her house. "I'll put on a pot of coffee and we'll have dessert while your laundry dries."
She is one of the friendliest people I know and she seems to have an open door policy. She doesn't seem freaked out by the front door bell ringing. "She just smiles as if people dropping by is the most natural thing in the world. It's welcoming. It's nice. It's rare. Somehow, I feel I don't have the same capacity. I'm not much of a baker and my husband brews the coffee in our house. "Hebrews" Get it? I can pour wine though. I guess having hospitable skills isn't based on what I serve. I make excuses. We're too busy. Too tired. The house is a wreck. The dog barks. We all have lots of excuses but really, none of them are that important.
It gets back to two things, really.
1. Inviting people over
2. Making them feel welcome when they're with you
Friends aren't looking at the stains on the carpet or the kitchen cabinets that don't close. I bet they won't notice the melted mess of a candle you need to throw away or the touch up painting you need to do along the baseboards. Friends want to know you have something to drink, a snack in your pantry and chairs at your kitchen table. They want your company. Not your perfect house. Who's house is perfect anyway? Life is to be lived with all it's imperfections.
Invite them over...Lord knows we need to at least dust off the front door handle.
Seeds to Share:
Joshua 24:15 - As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.