Yesterday was “Be a Bum” day! We did go to church, yes, and afterward I was chatting it up with a friend. She was talking about the pork roast turning yummy in her crock pot as we spoke. My husband was standing nearby (within earshot), and shouted, “I’m coming to your house!”
Her eyes got big. (In an excited, I-can’t-believe-I’m-doing-this sort of way.) “Do you want to?” she asked.
Dee and I quickly conferred, and got back to her. “YES!”
So we went. She has eight children, the oldest is 10. They’re Italian. They’re noisy, and crazy, and absolutely lovely. Her house had crumbs on the floor and getting-ready-for-church clothes flung in heaps, and it was so beautiful to me. She invited me into her mess. No time to prepare, just, “Won’t you please come in and stay awhile? Share our home?”
We made two pots of coffee, and drank them both! In between diapers, and pork roast, and nursing and bottles, and kids crying from roughhousing, and swapping homeschool stories.
(We also paused to laugh at our jokester husbands, the ones who both tell friends that their wives hide in the bathroom to smoke cigarettes. Or make up stories about the hidden flasks in the diaper bags, or the weed smoking… All false!)
She gave me books for homeschool, expensive books. I shared how last week felt like a tough week with a baby that wasn’t sleeping much during day hours, and wanted me to hold him when he was awake. So when he does sleep, do I do school, or dishes, or laundry, or sweeping, or what?!
She told me I was doing an amazing job.
She told me my kids had already impressed her! She lifted my heart right out of its funk. Peeled away the doubts that crept in this week about not being good enough.
She told me that she struggles with being spontaneous. It’s her husband that always invites people over spur-of-the-moment! He asked her yesterday, “Are you okay?!”
She did this for me.
I know why God calls us to fellowship. Our friends point us back to Him. He created humans to crave love, so we would crave Him, and our friends remind us about Love. My friend replaced doubts in my heart with love and acceptance.
She made herself vulnerable to give me this gift, and perhaps that’s what love is about.
Opening hearts up wide. Not hiding the heart mess and the house mess. Because when did that ever help somebody?
My sisters-in-law and I are memorizing the Good Samaritan story from Luke. The pictures are racing around in my head. Who was the one that loved? The man who saw another man, broken, bloody, messy… and picked him up. He “…came where he was…”, and he didn’t look away. He made someone else’s mess a part of his own life.
It meant he too was vulnerable to the raiding thieves.
Love is risky. Risking our own hearts to bind up the wounds in someone else’s heart.
And the best part? If we do get wounded in the process, taken advantage of, used up… We have a God who used up every last bit of His love to satisfy our craving. He will heal the wounds in our own heart, and meet our need for Love.
Love is always a risk worth taking!