Wednesday, October 31, 2007

unfinished thoughts

I’m trying to find words for:

… what hospitality feels like.

When you walk in a door and find that someone thoughtfully considered every detail, for you, good smells of good food, good music you’d choose yourself, good warmth and a readiness for good conversation.

… what a great celebration feels like.

When something as right as a hard-working marriage covenant is forged from the ashes of sorrow, and when the goodness of the wedding ceremony itself causes people to say, “yes, that’s the truth. That’s the way it is.” When the bride and groom are bold enough to have Ezekiel’s dry bones as a metaphor, to admit “we were dead, and it would take a miracle for us to breathe again.” And they do breathe, and everyone witnessing wipes their own eyes, weeping like weeping is contagious.

…what dressing up feels like with young kids and corsages and shiny shoes and suitcases.

… what reunion feels like, seeing fifty people I’ve not seen in decades, about sitting on a ledge with my good friend Keith, swinging our legs and chatting merrily as we used to, though we are dressed as middle-aged people and not as kids barely out of college.

… hospitality of total strangers, what a difference it makes to be welcomed sight unseen.

… what it feels like to fail at some things, to be unable to restore order and repair to my home in the way I would like, to feel unable to create a hospitable place for myself and others, to feel at a loss for beauty and peace in my own living room.

… what it feels like to be welcomed simply and easily by my extended family.

I’m trying to find words but rushing to manage other words, for homework, for the work involved in the next few days of parenting. The theme of hospitality is stirring in my mind so much, when the “cup of cool water” offered is actually a warming cup of something life-giving and heartening…

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