If You Clean It, They Will Come
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. (1 Peter 4:8-9 ESV)
Many years ago, when I was raising my small children, we moved into a small prairie town. Within the first week of arriving, there was a knock on our door and a woman entered, a small child in tow.
We had previously spoken when I was busy planting shrubs in the bare front lawn, but beyond that, we had not chatted. I didn’t really know this woman. Her child walked past me and went straight to the toy bin and made herself at home. The mom too walked into my kitchen and sat down. I was stunned. Who does this?!
Everybody it seemed. My house soon became a drop in for moms and tots. Thank God for a big country kitchen (now I know why they call them that) as I entertained sometimes two or three drop ins a day. Eventually I got use to the visitors and learned that invitations are unnecessary . . . and so were doorbells as they would walk right in once they felt they had broken me into country style hospitality.
As difficult as it was to get adjusted to, I soon grew to love it. If I was in the middle of a Bible study, whoever popped by would jump right in and we would dig together. If I was cooking a mega-batch of spaghetti sauce, sleeves would roll up and we would knock off gallons together as we chatted in the steamy kitchen. It was fellowship. It was glorious.
Now I work full time and live in a city. The deadbolt is on and the drapes are often drawn.
But this month, the Lord pressed on my heart to open up. To open up my calendar, my blinds and my front door. I’ve uncluttered and tried to streamline my small condo and calendar in order to free up space and time.
And I’ve learned that God is faithful. If you clean it, they will come. Open up! Reach out!
Father, You did not design us to be shut away from Your people. You made us for fellowship! Forgive us for hiding behind closed doors and help us to open up our time and our homes to our neighbors. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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