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My husband and I have recently gone beyond the boundaries of what is comfortable for us. We have opened up our home for the past several weeks to new people for dinner and conversation. It’s funny how the simple act of sharing a meal and chatter can break down walls we can’t even see. So often we have met new people and although they seem nice, we do the two minute polite talk and walk away without any further commitment. Barely have we gotten to know their name before we move on, after all, the two minute stopwatch in our minds automatically rang, “times up”.
I love people really, but something about inviting them into our private world on a regular basis is stretching me into being more honest with my time and my ability to be hospitable for more than a few minutes.
When you invite people into your home with the intent to spend time with them, you are making a real step into a commitment of sorts. No walking away when the two minute buzzer goes off in your head. Now begins the endurance. For us, it’s been a pleasant surprise to realize how much we enjoy getting to know people beyond the point of shaking their hand and making quick pleasantries.
This is where we all need to come home to. In getting to know our neighbors we find places of commonality. In talking to them we begin to have the lights turn on upstairs, maybe we have something they could use or vice versa to help one another? If we pull together and share what each of us has to offer, perhaps our daily burdens wouldn’t seem so heavy?
I wonder if when I am thinking about someone who could use an encouraging word, how much more it would mean to speak it to their face and look in their eyes, rather than send a text message? Going beyond the boundaries of what we have become in this fast paced society is necessary. Not only is it necessary but it’s not an option to stay behind walls of comfort. Tear down the walls and invite somebody in. Make your homes places for all to be welcomed and rebuild our society into something that cares for more than itself.