My Dad’s lifelong dream was to have a cabin. He never got it, so he figured he would make their house in town as close to one as possible. He still dreams of walking out and hearing nothing but the wind sighing through the pines. And yet this place has become something very important to so many people in the neighborhood. My Mom insisted on putting a picnic table in front years ago, so that she could sit outside and greet others passing by who could stop and rest, sit a spell, bring their lunch. They are still doing that these many years later.
This has been my childhood home ever since about age 4. Always it’s been a place of refuge and welcome, not only for me and the rest of the family but many friends as well. Their door is always open, and if I were locked out I know where the extra key is hidden. There are many other doors I could knock on in my hometown and I know that I would be ushered in out of the cold, offered a drink, a homemade dessert, a hug or welcome smile. How rich, how blessed I am, to have these all, in addition to my own safe harbor in Arizona.
It makes me wonder, to marvel, to shudder at the thought that there are those who have no place of welcome. No place of attachment, no place that says, “You are safe here, you are loved here, you are wanted here.” How can it be that I have never known that feeling and yet so many others have never known any different?
I think of Haiti and other parts of the world, and not only there, but right here in my own town! No place of refuge, no open door. No fresh brewed cup offered from a kind hand, no favorite mug….
Making people feel welcome is a gift we can give at any time. It may come in a form as simple as a smile at the store, for we never know what burdens another is carrying, what trials they face.
So today and every day I hope to get better at that.
Prayer for today:
Lord may I always remember that though you had no place to lay Your own head, you made me welcome forever by coming into my heart and making your home with me. May I remember always those who have given me that gift, made me feel welcome. Help me in turn to welcome others. Most of all, help me to share the gift of You; for in You I have all the home I ever need.
Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” Matthew 8:20