In my house on my wall, I have several plates that were painted by my Great Grandma Bessie. I regularly use a beautiful tea set she painted for me when I was a small child, intending it for my wedding present. Grandma Bessie and Grandpa Quincy were just laypeople in the church, but theirs was the house that traveling missionaries and pastors stayed with. Those missionaries and pastors ate from the same dishes we used for company when I was a child. I can remember listening to my mother tell me about my godly grandparents, and I pass those words on to my children. God sustained them through the depression, he provided their needs, and he gave them many opportunities to serve him throughout their years.
My mom wasn’t satisfied with Grandma and Grandpa’s testimony. She wanted to continue it. In particular, she was keen to pass on the joy of hospitality. How did she and my dad do this? Well, they didn’t let a small house or limited resources keep them from hospitality. A number of times, they slept on the patio on an air mattress while company slept in their room! We loved popcorn and ice water, not realizing in some years it was one of the few things they could afford as a special treat. My brother and I got to pick out a sugar cereal. Schedules were adjusted as we got to stay up late with visiting children. We loved company.
Those plates and words gave me a vision of hospitality that I want to pass on to my children. I want our house to be welcome to God’s people, and I want our children happy for that to happen.
We’ve got friends coming this weekend. We’ve been talking about it all week. We’ve talked ahead about where people will sleep. We talked about what God says about serving others, especially God’s people. We’ve been planning a menu (and desserts), and the children will pick out some sugar cereal. In case you were wondering, we will also bring out the Grandma Bessie plates to use.
(Now I need to get cracking on getting everything ready! Happy day today, all!)