Through the window, I can see a steady stream of traffic on the highway. It’s a mile away from where I sit, but this is Nebraska and there is rarely anything out here on The Great Plains to block your view, unless it’s something you put there yourself. You’d think the traffic on the highway would be a nuisance, but it is strangely hypnotic and I have to discipline myself to keep from making up a story for every driver in every vehicle I see driving by.
Just outside the window, hanging above a white picket fence, two goldfinch land on the bird feeder. I can’t hear them from where I sit barefoot at the kitchen table, but one of them is definitely the bossy one. The bossy bird perches herself up above the other one and arches her body downward while she keeps a tight grip on the perch. She gets all up in the face of the other bird and squawks – her pointy beak just millimeters from the bird below her. I watch the little bird on the perch below and I don’t see a feather ruffle. Cool bird.
I pour myself another glass of lemonade and look across the table at my friend. She is smart and talented in a Proverbs 31 way, but it doesn’t make me feel like I belong on a perch beneath her. She makes me wish I lived in the house next door instead of an hour’s drive north on that highway I can see outside her kitchen window. She talks about God and He makes her eyes light up. I want some of what she has, and I don’t just mean her recipe for homemade lemonade.
“I’m so glad you wore shorts,” she’d said when she answered the door. No fanciness. No pretense. Just a warm welcome of me, exactly as I was. Exactly as I am.
It wasn’t long before I’d kicked off my shoes, too. Now, I sat barefoot at the kitchen table, drinking homemade lemonade, the gleeful recipient of the gift of hospitality.
It is a gift.
I’m often on the other side of this picture. “I love having people in my house,” I say. I love the cooking and the welcoming and the serving and creating space for someone else to catch their breath. And sometimes, I forget the gift goes both ways.
How about you? Are you usually on the giving side of hospitality, or the receiving side? And also? Do you have a killer lemonade recipe?
Post by Deidra, Jumping Tandem.
Image by Nick Harris.Leave a Comment