Mom! Someone is at the door and I recognize her. Do you want me open the door?
I should tell you that because we live a life of welcome, the blinds were open and the drapes drawn completely back. The woman on the porch could see straight through our house from the front door all the way to the mud room. Part of being present in my community means being visibly present, even when I’m in the house.
I’m coming, I called to her. I was two PB&J’s into the lunch routine.
By the time I had arrived at the door, my neighbor had already moved herself down two steps and was waiting for me. All my neighbors but two, do this and it makes my heart seize up every time. Generations of being put in your place does something to you that you never quite overcome and so you move down two or more steps out of cultural habit.
You remember me, don’t you? I’m the boys’ grandmother and that house they staying at got all the windows busted out. It’s cold and they can’t stay there. And my house is full with my other daughter and her kids. Can my oldest grandson get off the bus here at your house this afternoon until I get off of work? I put his mama up in a hotel until they can figure out where to go.
Because I cannot say no, I said yes.
I’m sorry about their house. And he can absolutely stay here until you get off. What time can we expect you?
Eight o’clock if the school isn’t so bad. I clean at the middle school and middle schoolers are messy.
We chatted for a few more minutes- me trying to get the rest of the story and her trying to unload a year’s worth of burden- before the reality of what I had just committed to began to sink in.
This was not a one time, five hour block of time. This was going to be an ongoing need. This family needed a gap-filler from 3-8, every day.
And I had said yes.
Here I sit on a normal Friday morning, planning out dinner and afternoon snacks for a house full of kids due to arrive in five hours. Tonight we’ll have homemade pizza and everyone will make their own and I’ll force the minions to watch The Minions because I’m just plain tired and out of fun ideas.
Our friend will go home sometime after 8pm and my first born son will hide out in a book to revive his introverted soul and I’ll pick the house up feeling quite like I could do more to fix it.
But you and I both know that’s a lie. There are times we just can’t fix the wrong things in our broken world.
Some times, we’re simply invited to make space for the Holy Spirit to do the fixing.
And some times our greatest contribution to the kingdom is our open door.
Your turn. What’s the One Thing you are doing Right Now to love your people and your place? How are you inviting the kingdom close? Share your post in 500 words or less on your blog and link it up here. Or share on Instagram using the hashtag #onethingrightnow. And love your neighbor. Link closes Wednesday at 9am.
I’ll share my favorite post next Wednesday in the sidebar. Woot!