Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hospitality

It was a bad reason to have to go home to Indiana/Ohio: one of my best friends lost her husband quite suddenly, and I went to be with her on the day of the funeral. But it was a good visit.

I stayed in Indiana at our friends' farm. They are WONDERFUL people; originally my sister's friends (her high school best friend's parents!), they've been SO much fun to get to know, and to spend time with. There were days when we could have gone to do something, but stayed on the farm! It's been fun seeing Kenn (AKA "City Boy") learn about farm life. :)

What I want to tell you about, however, is leaving the farm this last time. I was by myself; Kenn didn't get to go with me. But I know what we do before we leave, each time, so I planned the leaving part accordingly. :D They're building a new house from SCRATCH next to the rickety farmhouse; they've been working on it for years, and they're "close" to getting it ready to move into. Before we leave, we go see the progress on the house, and take a quick tour of SOME of the farm. (Mind you, this is a working farm, so to tour the whole thing would take a VERY long time!!! :) )

The garden on the farm has been producing like crazy, so our friends were SO pleased to be able to send "some" produce home with me. The photo above shows what I brought home. :D Even the pumpkin! He became a turkey, but that's another post. LOL!

We were out in the garden for 45 minutes, cleaning off the vegetables and loading them into the car. Then, it was time for goodbye hugs and waves while I pulled onto the country road, waving and smiling.

I was still smiling five minutes later. Can you IMAGINE?? I'd been there about 38 hours, but I was SOOOOOOOOO blessed by them. I was GONE much of that time, but we still had a couple of meals together, and laughed and sympathized with each other. There wasn't any "You're a guest, so act like one." I'm one of the family! I know where the towels are, I know where to put the bedding when I leave. And I get so blessed, every time I go to visit them. Not only did they bless ME, but I had the joy of seeing Kenn act like it was Christmas when he was carrying it all into the house; Mom couldn't get over how GENEROUS they'd been to us. And NOTHING tastes better than a sweet cherry tomato that someone you cherish has grown and blessed you with! :)

It's not the things they give me - or that I give them, because who goes somewhere like that without a present? :D It's the way I FEEL when I'm around them. I'm NEVER, EVER glad to be leaving them, but I always leave feeling loved and welcome to come back.

Do you *hear* what I'm trying to say? There's no doubt in my mind that I have a place there. I am always welcome. I will always be loved by them. I don't have to wonder if they're just nice to my face. I'm part of the family while I'm there.

Dear one, not only are we to feel that way in the Body of Christ, but we're to OFFER that to anyone who comes to our homes. I just can't imagine anything better than to have someone say to me, "I was still smiling five minutes after I left your house the other day!"

It's a little out of context, but not too much - Jesus said, "I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings." (Luke 16:9, NIV) We have started to become sooooooooo concerned with OURSELVES; we don't just "hang out" with each other, encouraging one another and sharing with each other! We HOARD what we have, as if it's going to be a security.

It's NOT. And that's not why God blesses us with worldy wealth, either - no matter how much or how little you have. It's to bless OTHERS.

Dear one, please pray for ME in this area. I want to be obedient in being a blessing, too! I want people to know I'm different, that they're LOVED, and WELCOME, and part of the family!!!! How about you?

1 comment:

Becky in East Tennessee said...

WOW. What a statement. Yes. To BE A BLESSING is truly the biggest gift.