Wednesday, November 16, 2005
I got an unexpected phone call a few nights ago that made me really happy. Alethea was already in bed and I was telling Peregrine a story when the phone rang. Erik answered it and I heard him talking in that tone of voice like you do when you're happy to hear from someone unexpected. It was "Christy from Santa Cruz" on the line so I kissed my boy goodnight and traded him to Erik for the phone. Christy is a friend that was in Asia with me. I love her because she's sweet and we share so many wonderful memories and Erik loves her because she nursed me back from the brink of death in Nepal. (Slight exageration perhaps but Erik does give her credit for saving my life so that he could fall in love with me.) We haven't seen Christy since her wedding last December and have emailed just a few times. I was surprised to hear from her out of the blue. It turned out she was just down the road so of course I gave her directions and invited her to come stay. An hour later she arrived; we stayed up talking and saw her off the next morning. Thanks for coming Christy; it was great to see you!
I'm always so thankful when people "stop by". It's part of what I miss about living in Community- the weaving in and out of each other's days and lives. When I was in high school we had the sort of neighbors that you could go borrow a cup of sugar from if you needed to. I remember being sick once when my parents were gone and one neighbor had me come over and lay on her couch so I wouldn't be alone. And when I was in Bible school I can't remember how often I would run over to my friend Dar's house for some little thing- a carrot or to do my laundry or a bowl of her yummy lentil soup. (Which was made and given with such love that on more than one occasion it actually brought me to tears.) I love being in the home of a friend with whom I'm totally comfortable- where I can raid the fridge if I'm hungry or curl up on their couch and sleep if I'm tired. (You know who you are!) And even more than that, I love it when people feel that at home at our house. We're family after all, and isn't that the way it should be?
I'm so thankful for the example my parents gave me in this. They have always made room in their home and around their table for friends, and strangers too. We lived in some pretty ramshackle little places but I remember people coming in and exclaiming how much they loved our home. Even as a child I knew that what they loved was not the house but the warmth of welcome they received, the opportunity to be part of a family who loved one another. For this reason my parents' family is a lot larger than just the five children that were born to them.
So Christy's call made me really happy- happy to hear from an old friend and so pleased that she was comfortable to drop in like that. My prayer is that our home will always be warm and inviting and a place where a soul can find rest, just as my parents' home has been for so many. So if you're ever in the neighborhood feel free to stop by, okay? We have an extra room now with a bed made up just for you. If you're lucky I might have a big pot of lentils simmering on the stove. And I'll make sure to season them with lots of love.