Tonight I was at the home of a family from our church. It was warm and cozy, with a fire in the fireplace, a dog on the couch, and the wife folding clothes in the dining room. I visited with friends and played with the puppy and didn't want to leave... I wanted to curl up on the couch with an afghan and take a nap.
Last night was similar - girls night was at a house with a spacious den and a kitchen with savory-smelling pots and pans on the stove. And Monday night, the cookie exchange was at a house that felt like it had been featured in Southern Living magazine and smelled of pine needles and sugar cookies. And a few weeks ago, I was settled in a recliner in a peaceful farmhouse with a cup of tea and an old piano nearby. Each one made my heart so contented that I wanted to cry.
And I can't decide if the emotion I feel is homesickness, or comfort, or longing for my own home and family... maybe a little of all that, maybe more. I just love the feeling of peace and rest found in these homes, like time slows down and the world gets smaller and life gets simpler... I don't think my house is as charming and cozy as the ones I've been in lately, but I do love it when people drop in for a cup of tea, or fall asleep on my couch, or hesitate to leave, lingering just a little longer. I hope they find peace and rest here in our Hobbit Hole...
Hannah says this is another aspect of organic ministry... being in homes, extending and accepting open doors and welcoming embraces... being in community, in the most authentic way possible... realizing that hospitality isn't really about gormet foods and fine linens and fancy planned parties, but about cozy couches, piles of clean laundry, stories and laughter. It's really about being together, and sharing life-in-the-raw, beautiful and real.