Come on Over

by Emma Wyatt

When I was a newlywed, my husband asked if we could invite the visiting preacher over for supper one night. I panicked. I said no. I had just barely learned to cook. And everyone knows the only appropriate meal to feed a preacher is a pot roast, right? I didn't know how to cook one of those, and even if I did, we couldn't afford one. My house was tiny, the furniture hand me down, and my confidence lacking. Our table could sit 3 comfortably and 4 in a squeeze. Oh, and did I mention our table also doubled as all my counter space? Sam was disappointed, but he let it go.

Eventually he asked again. This time, I gave in. I was only slightly less intimidated this time because the visiting preacher has specifically requested "a light meal". I made soup and cut up a cantaloupe. Guess what! The soup was gratefully eaten. My tiny house was complemented. My hospitality was appreciated.

I didn't grow up with a community of hospitality. My family didn't really invite people over. This was a new and somewhat scary world I was thrown into as a newlywed. It was something I wanted to engage in, but I had my own perspective of what was expected: big house - big meal - nice furniture - hostess with great conversation skills. I had exactly zero of four of these necessary qualities.

Eleven years, a bigger house, nicer furniture, and more room around the table later, I've figured something out: People don't care. Someone will always have a more comfortable home for hosting. Someone will always be a better cook. Someone will always have nicer furniture and a bigger table. People care that you cared enough about them to extend an invitation. And you know what? I have never cooked a pot roast for company! I've made brisket, fried chicken, enchiladas, homemade pizza, and lasagna. But I've also made hot dogs, cold cut sandwiches, store bought pizza, and even just served store bought ice cream and called it supper. Hint: it doesn't matter what you serve or if you can cook. What matters is, you can open up your home, you can open up your life to someone else.

I'd still like my home to be perfect for company. But with four kids, fat chance of that happening in the next ten years. So, I could wait ten years, or I can do the best with what I have. I think I'd much rather be cultivating relationships in my home now than waiting until everything is just right. So, if you come over this next month, my flooring project may or may not be totally completed. And I can pretty much guarantee that my front door door handle will fall off from the inside. I may also burn supper. And there's a good chance I'll forget all about making dessert. But, I'll enjoy your company, and I hope you'll enjoy mine.