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Not me

This is a story about how big God is.

And how he can use us, even when we don’t get it.

Even use “not me.” Well, maybe especially “not me.”

ring the doorbellOne year ago. The front doorbell rings. I get it because Jeff is frying chicken for supper (his specialty, not mine). A stranger, Joe, introduces himself as a potential buyer for the house across the lake and has some questions about the neighborhood. A mutual friend at his church knew we lived here, and recommended that Joe talk to us.

I soon discover that his questions are not in my area of expertise. So I refer him to Jeff, and Jeff (not me) invites Joe into the kitchen.

Joe’s wife and kids are waiting in their van in our driveway. So I ask them in. The two daughters are around Jenna’s age; they also homeschool; they and Jenna immediately bond and take off for the backyard together.

Before I know it, Jeff (not me) has invited the whole family to eat supper with us.

Me? I’m thinking, “What is Jeff thinking! We weren’t expecting company. And we don’t have enough chicken. And the kitchen is a wreck. And we don’t even know these people.”

But we do now. No thanks to me. Thanks to a big God who gave me a hospitable husband.

Our two families have now shared meals in each other’s homes (they did buy the house across the lake), our girls have spent countless days and nights together, we’ve celebrated birthdays, we’ve taken care of each other’s dogs. They’re our good friends.

But next week, they’re moving. For one year. I’ll miss them, and I look forward to their return.

I had the Hospitality book for a year before I finally read it last month. Since then, I’ve felt guilty. I’ve tried easing my conscience by counting how many people do actually go in and out my doors. Maybe I’m not so bad at hospitality after all?

But if it’s my daughters’ friends coming over, it’s not to my credit. It’s her hospitality really, not mine. If it’s my extended family coming over, it’s not to my credit either. They’re too easy. If it’s my neighbors, they often ring my doorbell out of the blue, so no credit for me there either.

It’s not me.

I’ve been asked to teach a ladies’ class this summer at church on “Discovering God in Our Lives.”

I envision the class as a group of women chatting around a big kitchen table at the end of a day. “Come to the table,” I’ll say. “Let’s talk together about how God is alive and real and at work in our lives.”

Until this morning, I didn’t get it. But now I seethe class is yet another display of God's hospitality. So it’s God, again, not me. open door

He continues to bring the people to my door who want to talk about the neighborhood.

It’s hospitality. Not of my own initiative. Of God’s.

I need to release the guilt that I’m not hospitable enough. God is taking care of it. Not me.

He doesn’t need me to concoct some elaborate dinner plan. He doesn’t want my guilt. He desires no more hand-wringing that “I’m not doing enough; I’m not doing enough.”

So, he’s big alright. Not me.

He is the one who will get it done, with or without my hostessing skills (or lack thereof). With or without my scheduling. With or without enough fried chicken.

It’s simpler than I imagined.

For now, all he’s asking me is: “Hey Lisa, I hear somebody at the door—would you get that for me?


Jenna said...

Wow! Thats really thought-provoking!

Lisa notes... said...

You're a great example to me of being hospitable. I pray that you'll carry that gift with you all your life. ...because you know your mama will want to come visit you often! :-)

Love you!

Young Wife said...

Great post. Even though we know it's not a works based salvation, it's so easy to get into that mindset of "I'm not doing enough!"

Lisa notes... said...

You're right, Ashley--it's too easy to slip into that "works" mindset. I spent the first half of my life rarely hearing about grace, so this half I'm learning what all I was missing. God is good.

Lisa Spence said...

I struggle with hospitality and feeling guilty about it. This post is a great reminder that it's not up to me but the Spirit working in and through me.

Brenda said...

If you do decide God is calling you to host an elaborate dinner, though, please know I am ready and willing to be your guest any time. ;-)


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