Do you know the line of the prayer "Come Lord Jesus, be our guest"? We used to say that prayer when I was young. I was thinking about that line and wondering if that is the desire of my heart on most days? When I look around me at the floors that need to be swept, my to-do list, all my selfish desires, do I truly want a guest of any kind? More than that, when I look at my cluttered thoughts, my discontent heart, and my selfishness, do I really want to invite the King of Kings into my day? It is a choice I must face every day and I have learned that the quicker I meet with HIM each day, the more content my heart is.
One of the joys of this trip has been seeing God use our gift of hospitality even here in Africa (not to be confused with the gift of entertainment - which I lack in). For years we have prayed that our home would be a place of refuge for those who walk through our doors. At times I felt like a failure because my house would not be "company ready" when the opportunity would arise. I would have to remember to put hospitality before my pride. Too many times, God would have to work on my hard heart as I would struggle to want to open my door because I selfishly didn't want the extra work. But when I put my selfishness aside and opened my door, whether my house was ready or not, I have always been the one who has been blessed far more than I have been a blessing.
Living here in Cameroon, our housing situation is a bit "rustic" and simple. Our furniture isn't very comfortable (the floor is concrete and there are bugs so we don't sit on the floor). We have just enough dishes for our family and one guest but somehow that hasn't mattered much. I've learned so much from our Cameroonian friends (and even strangers), that you don't have to have much to make a person feel welcome.
At home we have a weekly tradition of serving pancakes for supper on Sunday. We usually have a bunch of different forms of sugar to dump on them and take great delight in seeing how creative we can be. We have brought this tradition with us as a way to feel the comfort of home in a small way. We've extended the invitation to the missionaries here and have introduced a few of our Cameroonian friends to the wonders of pancakes as well. We've added a time of singing and praise which we plan to bring home with us as we continue this tradition at home. Our guests bring their own dishes and no one seems to mind at all.
I'm realizing that our "home" is really not our house at all - it is us! I am missing my friends and family in Minnesota, but my HOME has been with me all along.