Saturday, March 8, 2014

Walking Two Moons

Eating, and hospitality in general, is a communion, and any meal worth attending by yourself is improved by the multiples of those with whom it is shared.  - Jesse Browner

A life of hospitality begins in worship, with a recognition of God's grace and generosity.  Hospitality is not first a duty and responsibility; it is first a response of love and gratitude for God's love and welcome to us.  - Christine Pohl

Today, I didn't vacuum the floor.  There are still little piles of dirt hanging out throughout the apartment, tracked in as snow melted and the ground stuck to the bottom of my Chuck Taylors.

Today, I didn't play catch up on work.  Despite two snow days, I feel like there are so many moving parts, so many what ifs, that I'm in a perpetual state of catch up.

Today, I didn't go grocery shopping, or put gas in the car.  I didn't clean the bathroom or do laundry or take care of the recycling.

Instead, I hosted one of my best friends for coffee.  We talked about life, ours and the new one she's carrying inside her.  We laughed and connected, talking of the past and the future.  I realized how refreshing it is to start my day with honesty.

Today, I laughed with a friend over terrible games of bowling, each of us taking turns barely breaking 100.  My skills, or perhaps lack there of, got teased by friend and stranger alike.  I tried sushi, good sushi, for the first time and marveled over the different textures found in similar looking rolls of rice.  I fumbled with chopsticks and giggled over inadequacies.

Today, I celebrated a student's birthday with her and her family in their home.  I ate homemade tamales and looked at family pictures eagerly shared.  I made new friends and smiled until my face hurt.  I left with plates of food and a small headache from trying to keep up with the Spanish flying between family members.  My belly, and my heart, are full.

Today, I didn't check one single thing off my "to-do" list, but I did connect with important people in my life.  I played and laughed and was reminded of the simple joy of being together, as friends and as strangers.  I experienced a beautiful picture of hospitality and a caring for one another in a way that is often lost admist the hustle and bustle of daily life.

As I sit and reflect on the day, I am reminded at how important it is to spend time with one another.  Being an introvert and living alone allows me to get comfortable with myself - that in itself is not a bad thing.  But it also breeds complacency, and I sometimes find that I seek solace in myself, by myself, instead of with others.  I realize it can be easy for me to forget how much I need community in my life.

Although I'm a few days late, perhaps I will spend this Lenten season investing myself in the company of others.  During this time of renewal and preparation, I desire to draw closer to the Lord daily.  Many times, like today, it is in the company of others where His presence is most noticeable.  Even though these interactions are likely to be uncomfortable or inconvenient at times, I am hoping to see the Lord in each of them.

How are you renewing yourself during this season of Lent?

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