It had been a busy few months, complete with training sessions, meetings, and thousands of air miles. Conference calls with coworkers in different time zones punctuated my solidly booked schedule, and I struggled to keep it all together. But this day was to be different. In sharp contrast to the countless task-filled days before it, this particular Saturday promised to hold twenty-four hours of no obligations and no stress. My husband was making repairs to the house we were selling a few blocks away. Our teenagers were visiting friends in a neighboring city. In the house that morning, it was just me and the Lord.
I rose from my bed and was greeted by the aroma of the jasmine-scented candle I had lit the night before. You can always tell when you have quality wax — the smell lingers long after the flame burns out.
I walked into the master bathroom and filled the tub with a combination of bubbles and Epsom salt, a refreshing balance between spa-like luxury and down-home healing. It was my first real day of rest in a very long time, and I was determined to give my body and mind the break they both so desperately needed.
Afterwards, I situated myself on the soft leather sofa in our living room and settled under my favorite blanket, the smell of fabric softener meeting my nose, and I felt my body relax.
Then the doorbell rang.
I’m not expecting anyone, I thought to myself. Both startled and slightly irritated, I walked to the door. Through the peephole, I saw the niece of a friend, a young lady in her early twenties who was relatively new to the area. I had met her once several weeks before, and she had confided in me then that she was having problems with her mother and that things weren’t going well at home.
I was surprised to find her standing at the door, but I invited her to come in. She looked at me and apologized for visiting without calling first, but I assured her it was okay. She shared how she felt like her life was spiraling out of control. She had dropped out of college and had been struggling to find a job all while being in a toxic relationship. She was lost and alone, needing someone to hold her hand and guide her along.
“I am old enough to be your mother, so I’m going to talk to you as though you were my own daughter,” I told her.
Over the next three hours, we cried, we laughed, and we prayed. She thanked me for allowing her to vent, and though I had planned to spend the day resting, I was grateful I got to extend hospitality to someone who had an even greater need and that I got to open my home to her as we both opened our hearts.
Before I placed my head on the pillow that night, I thanked God for the opportunity to be a small ray of light for someone whose path had become so dark. My body was tired, my mind was weary, but it was well with my soul.
Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Romans 12:13 (NIV)