Sunday, March 16, 2008
Lord of "Hosts"
This weekend was a crazy one. Over the course of two days, we have hosted 16 people in our house for two different meals. The Bible verse that has been going through my head: "Practice hospitality." My hands are all wrinkled from another 45 minutes of dishwashing, but my refrigerator is full of left-overs (to use for hosting lunch guests this week, I suppose), my head is full of thoughts, and my heart is full of gratitude.
On Saturday night, we had "old Muncie" friends get together for an incredible meal and time of laughter and prayer. It was all instigated and the ingredients (food and otherwise) were all brought by our friend, Lisa. I often feel like a different person among that group of friends. I feel a bit more noble and my life feels a bit more epic -- like I actually play a role in a true, Lord of the Rings-ish myth. Or at least that I am called to play a role in the real-life epic.
The time of our lives that we all spent closer together was very much about learning our identity as children of God, first and foremost. That identity does not change based on life circumstances. Even so, at times in conversation that evening, I felt myself scrambling to come up with something exciting to talk about in my own life -- some job or big decision coming up or some talent of mine -- in order to feel like I have something to say other than, "So...did you know Israel can poop in the toilet?" I never came up with anything and then resisted the urge to make the unchanging-ness of my life currently into the crisis I could talk about. The faces of the people around me served as reminder of the lessons I "learned" about identity and I tried to relax, knowing that I am only supposed to be my Father's child and that I am only asked to do well whatever it is I have been given to do. Right now, that means being patient and caring for my son and being a good wife. That's plenty hard, even if it doesn't sound glamorous. And it's no more or less important than what my friends are all doing at this point in life: trusting God as single women, expecting children, running businesses, making music albums or art, what-have-you. Each station in life has its own blessings and challenges (and those words are not exclusive of each other).
But more than being an evening about where we all are in life, the evening was about God and who He is. We found ourselves praying, begging, "daring," (as one of us put it) God to be our God. There is so much that we need Him for. And we are each completely incapable of being who we are and doing what we're supposed to do apart from God continuing to make us. As Psalm 100 says: "It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves." I think this is about more than just a one-time act. We cannot will any part of ourselves into being. Unless God shows up, there is not anything to expect from life. As much as we all have changed and grown in the time we have been apart from each other, that has not changed. We are all living part of the story God is writing. It is such a joy to get together and talk about what has happened so far in the book, to guess about what He will write about in the upcoming chapters, and to marvel and worship Him for the great Author that He is!