Yesterday I was at home and using the computer to blog and read some blogs in the late morning hours, when there was a knock at my front door. It was a good friend of mine, stopping in unexpectedly to visit with me! We hadn't seen each other in a month, which is sad but her life has been as full as mine if not more so. And she was so tickled to stop in and see me!
Now, typically, I am not one for unexpected visits so much as planned visits. However, I decided years ag, that putting my pride about how my house or my person looks at the moment someone stops in can be a good thing -- especially because to me, hospitality really matters. To me, a truly hospitable person is ready and willing to open their home to others at any time. Do I mean the house needs to be in perfect order every single moment of every single day for this to happen? Ideally, yes. Realistically, no. I will be the first to say I am still "learning" how to be a good homemaker on a consistent basis. I think I do very well in some areas and acceptable in others. There is always, always room to improve. But I thought, while I am in this perpetual refining process, who am I to turn away friends or family from my doorstep, because there's laundry to be folded on my couch or a few pots in the sink to be washed or towels draped over the shower door waiting for attention? Who am I to turn away someone who may desperately need to be ministered to through friendship and undivided attention, simply because I forgot to make the guest bed this morning with freshly washed sheets or didn't get all the newly purchased canned goods put up yet?
I realize there are many who would disagree with me in this eccentric philosophy of mine. That's just fine. To each his own. But for me, I feel like my house can be an extension of who I am and the capacity I have to minister to the needs of others . . . .and even more importantly, I feel like my house isn't my house alone . . . it belongs to the One who gave it to me so that I could be the steward over it. And I could be wrong, but when I start to think about how Jesus would or wouldn't accept company into this house, I cannot help but think that all the other things -- dishes, laundry, towels, floors, food, dry goods, dusting, etc. -- wouldn't matter so much to Him. I rather think that if someone knocked on the door of this house, Jesus would come to them with open arms, He would swing the front door wide and tell them, "Come in! Come in to my house!" and all the little things would be overlooked as the guests basked in the undivided attention and welcoming love of Jesus. On the flip side, I would hope that if Jesus appeared in the form of man at my front door one day, unexpectedly, that I wouldn't hesitate to let Him in, no matter the present condition of my house. I sincerely think that the prospect of time spent in His presence and with His undivided attention, in person, would mean so much to me it would completely overshadow any little messes or clutter around here. Is this off the mark? Maybe so. But I'd rather err on the side of hospitality and devoted friendship toward those who choose to knock on my door, than on the side of keeping to myself entirely based upon the perfection of my house. Maybe that's just me. But that's how I feel. . . .
"Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears and listens to and heeds My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will eat with him, and he [will eat] with Me ." -- Words of Jesus, Revelations 3:20