At our house, we really love having company over. Friends, family, neighbors…we don’t really care, we just like having people over. Now, I do, in fact, subscribe to that 3-day rule about fish and houseguests, but for a time, they’re fun, we love the newness, the laughing, late night card games, the schedule change, and fancier desserts.
The thing about sleep-over company, though, is that after a little while, I need some space. I need the freedom to be cranky for a minute, to make sandwiches tonight for supper, to stop washing towels for a day or two, and everyone to be quiet. (My mom told me it gets easier, that I just need to “keep practicing.” Then she quoted that verse about practicing hospitality and said, “It doesn’t say you have to be good at it, it just says keep practicing.” Oh yes. Yes, she did.)
As I was thinking (and feeling kind of guilty) about this the other day, I went ahead and kind of heaped a little more on by realizing that I kind of treat God like company sometimes. I’m glad to see him when He shows up, I always remember to be really polite and nice, I make sure to put clean towels out, but then I assign Him the guest room for Himself and His convictions. I don’t really want Him roaming into the pantry, the master bathroom, my junk drawer, or thumbing through my journal. Because those are none of His business, right? Right?
We’ve had quite a bit of company this summer, and as I thought this through a little bit, I recognized that none of the company we’d had really gave a flying leap about the state of my pantry or junk drawer. They were here to see me. They wanted to spend time with me, play with my kids, talk to my husband, and love on our family.
Last year, before I had our baby, my sister came and helped me clean out and reorganize all our dressers and closets as we moved kids’ rooms around and made room for another little one. She didn’t once open a closet and scream or say, “WHAT in the world exploded in here?!” She’d start throwing out junk she knew I didn’t want and moved and straightened up the rest. She wasn’t judging me, and didn’t tell her friends about how obscene my dressers were afterward.
At the risk of sounding like I’m diminishing God, I’ll say that’s the kind of company He is. The kind that comes to love on us, bless us, take us out to eat, and bring us gifts. If He gets here and that corner of your heart needs cleaned out, He’s happy to help with that too, without any histrionics.
1 Peter 4:8-10 – Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
I’m Amber Pierre, mother of 3 (ages 3, 2 and 1) and expecting baby #4. I love to sew, but I’m not that great at it, and I love to cook, and no one has had food poisoning yet, which is totally how I determine that I’m a fantastic cook. I am home with my kids, and work part-time as a translator from home. Sometimes the lines of my “work” get blurry, and I wonder if one more load of laundry is going to make any kind of eternal impact. After doing some Bible reading, I’ve realized that it’s my attitude about doing the laundry (or whatever) that matters…