Don't let household perfection stop you from inviting people over for fellowship and a meal.
Posted in , Mar 17, 2015
Sometimes a few simple words can teach us a valuable life lesson. I experienced one of those moments several years ago.
Our son, Jason, had recently become engaged, and he and his fiancé, Kella, had developed the habit of coming to our house for dinner every Sunday night after church.
While we often just had sandwiches or picked up pizza, on this particular weekend, I was planning to serve a big meal. A creamy lemon pie from one of his grandmother’s recipes was chilling in the refrigerator, and I’d left a roast and carrots simmering in the crockpot before we left for church on Sunday morning.
Following the morning service, we went next door to the family life center for a fundraiser luncheon for one of the families in our church. Jason and Kella sat beside us, and his friend Jeremiah (better known as Bub) and his girlfriend Amy came and joined us.
We enjoyed visiting together over our meal, and as he started his dessert, Jason said, “What are we having to eat tonight?”
“Well, I think you’ll like it,” I replied. “I tried a new recipe for a lemon and strawberry pie that I found in Granny Cox’s recipe box, and we’re having roast, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, carrots, corn and yeast rolls.”
Bub sighed wistfully, “Boy that sounds good.”
I started to invite him and Amy, but then I remembered that an extra hectic work week meant that I hadn’t had time to really clean the house that week. We had plans for the afternoon and I knew I wouldn’t have time to clean or straighten things, so I just stayed quiet.
That afternoon at our 5:00 church service, I stood and sang with everyone else for one of the congregational songs. As the song concluded, it was like God nudged my heart and said, “Go invite Bub for dinner.”
When the pastor announced our customary fellowship time, I walked a few aisles up to where Bub and Amy were sitting. “Bub, I didn’t have time to clean this week and things are a little scattered at the house, but if you and Amy want to come for dinner, we’d love to have you.”
His face lit up. “We’ll be there. Thanks!”
They came, and we had a great evening filled with fun and laughter. Bub ate until I thought he might pop, and no one seemed to notice that the house hadn’t been cleaned and polished for company.
That Wednesday night at church, Bub came up to me and hugged me. “Thanks so much for inviting us to dinner on Sunday night. That was the first home-cooked meal I’ve had since….”
He paused, thinking for a moment, and then he continued, “I guess that’s the first home-cooked meal I’ve had since you had all the singles out for the Christmas dinner at your house.”
That had been months before! As Bub walked away, I wiped tears from my cheeks. I’d come so close to missing a blessing. I can’t tell you how God convicted my heart about that.
There I had been worried about a little dust–and I’d almost missed the opportunity to provide a home-cooked meal and some fellowship for a young man who was hungry for both.
Sweet friends, there are folks all around us who need some love, who need to know that somebody cares. Stop and think about it: The word “hospitality” includes the word “hospital.” You can be a hospital of hope and love for those who need it.
Ask God to put people on your heart and then invite them to your home. The meal doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Serve a bologna sandwich or order some pizza. And as I learned that night from my experience with Bub, the house doesn’t have to look perfect. In fact, I think that folks often feel more comfortable when it’s not.
Don’t let a little dust keep you from getting–and giving–a blessing.
Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. (Hebrews 13:2)