I had a new friend over this morning for coffee and some girl talk. She's recently moved to the area and knows virtually no one, but thankfully she reached out to me (though it totally should have been the other way around). Nothing was going super smoothly this morning and by the time she got here, breakfast dishes were still on the table and the sink was full. As we all know, housekeeping really isn't my thing, but I still want company to feel comfortable and welcome in my home.
As we sat and tittered like birds for hours, I realized that what she was craving, what I was craving, was not a spotless house, or a showcase house, or gourmet coffee, but a relationship. When I asked her to forgive the mess, she reminded me of a devotion from Proverbs 31 Ministries. The author was visiting Japan and her host made a late night meal for them, and early in the morning, in the midst of the dirty dishes, supplied a lavish breakfast. Later in the day the host was to provide lunch for 100 people and then dinner for a large number of guests. While the author fretted about the dirty dishes, the host was led by the Lord to open her house, mess and all, to any who would come. A dusty floor wouldn't keep her from sharing her heart and home with others. What a welcome reminder that was.
After lunch, my BFF Chris came by, but I was no longer concerned about the mess. In fact, I sat him down in the kitchen among my dirty dishes and he talked while I washed. The kitchen is really the heart of my home. Though it's not always spotless, it's open. What a wonderful time of fellowship we had in the presence of a dish cloth and suds.
I was reminded today of the importance of relationships, of friendships old and new. I was reminded that we weren't sent here to be loners, but to open our hearts and homes to people.
If you ever find yourself in my neck of the woods and need good conversation or a good cup of coffee, my door is open. Please come in, just don't mind the dirty dishes. :)