Messy Hospitality

November 11, 2015


My son's voice reverberated through my house during a momentary lull in the adult conversation, and the frustration in his little voice was clearly evident to all of us. 

My husband and I shared a glance before he made a beeline for the stairs and the gaggle of kids downstairs while I glanced around the adults gathered in our living room, casting about for a way to revive the conversation as a slightly awkward silence descended momentarily.

Life is messy, and hospitality with children is sometimes oftentimes less than perfect. Add to that sharing a meal with approximately fifteen people and our house that afternoon could only be described as organized chaos.

Hospitality is the honest sharing of our lives, not the manufactured perfection we so often think is necessary. AND I LOVE IT. 

My home is often filled princesses in flowy dresses darting between rooms, boys shouting (mostly) in laughter as they play Sega racing, and a poodle named Peanut hopping from lap to lap for a quick snuggle before he moves on. 

You will find adults loitering in our kitchen, hands wrapped around a mug of coffee talking about jobs and kids and all of the ups and downs of life. 

You will find brokenness and breakthroughs, sorrow and joy, triumph and struggle in the lives of those who gather. 

Give me a house filled with imperfect people, with chaos, with shouts of laughter, with quiet tears spilled over hard things any day over elegant dinners and small talk.

Jesus is found in the midst of messy hospitality, when we are vulnerable enough to let others see our imperfection even as we strive to be women who love God and love others, when we are brave enough to admit that we are works in progress - that we don't have it all figured out - and invite others to walk alongside us without giving into the temptation to put on our masks of perfection.

It is my prayer today that we would find the courage to set aside our insecurities, to risk opening our lives and our homes as we welcome others into our messy, imperfect Jesus-filled lives. Lord, give us hearts of hospitality. Amen. 

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