morning invitations * welcome

Our homes are meant to be welcoming havens,
not secured fortresses.

These scuffed doors are just begging to be opened wide,
not bolted shut.

Those tables are designed be generously shared,
not surfaces to display a lonesome centerpiece.

We were created to do life in the company of others.  There is that deep cry of the heart to live in community, to be fully present to those God brings onto our pathways, to open our doors to fellow sojourners in need of safe harbor.  This simple offering of ourselves, our bread, and a resting place is a most sacred calling.

And the beauty of it all is that there's not one right way to live this out. 

We've each got our own quirky personality, special giftedness, unique life story, and housing situation.  The practical hands-on application of living out this call to hospitality will sparkle and shine with our own individual imprint.

We've been hoodwinked along the way by the glossy magazine spreads and the way-too-perfect Pinterest pins.  We have gullibly bought the lie that our homes must be immaculate and decorated 'just so' before we put the welcome mat out.  But that's simply not biblical.  We are called, dare I say, commanded, to open our hearts to the worn and weary.

1 Peter 4:9 tells us to 'cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.'  Other translations include the clear warning to do so without grumbling.

And that joy, my friend, is the secret. 

Simply put, God absolutely loves when we grab hold of these cheerful giving opportunities.  The offering of a safe haven to another soul is a gift back to Him, the overflowing of a grateful heart that has experienced grace and blessing.  Even, and especially, when it's been a long week or we don't have much more than a can of soup in the cupboard.  Or when there's dust on every surface and piles are strewn from here to there.

That's when His grace kicks in and His power is displayed.  Because it's all about Him and not about us.

The truth is this ... 

Somebody, somewhere, needs something that only you can offer.

And He, the Multiplier of the most ordinary of loaves and fish, is able to take our feeble offerings and turn them into priceless, life-altering, abundant gifts for a weary heart that needed the listening ear and the prayerful companionship that only you could give.

Because when all is said and done, the roof over our heads and the bread on our tables are not ours.

They're His.