Along the way, I learned much from experiencing memorable welcomes in homes.
In 1974, my Sunday School teachers—a married couple with young children—invited my class to their modest home for a sit-down dinner. Excluding bathrooms, every room was set for food—TV trays and card tables abounded. Their goal was to feed college students, not impress. I was impressed.
During dinner, Carol jumped up from her table, snatched a vase, and said “I forgot that I promised to return this yesterday.” Off she went. Laughing, she returned minutes later. “My neighbor forgot I had it.” Carol and Mike’s realness ministered to this teenager.
In 1982, an elder and his wife invited our entire church—hundreds and hundreds—to their farm for games and a potluck. Their property was massive. Their house wasn’t. The women stood in line to use the master bathroom. The room was clean, but cluttered. We navigated piles of neatly stacked books. The bed contained loads of clothes to be folded. Surfaces overflowed with carefully arranged papers. The woman in front of me turned and said, “Now this is what I call hospitality.” Her words stuck.
Oh, to welcome people so freely!