I have never felt like a more welcome or special guest.
I had been invited to speak at the church that one of my friends attends and she asked if I would like to come for lunch after the service.
Ellen and Jason are parents to five children aged nine and under, including eighteen month old twin boys, so it was no small thing for Ellen to invite me to be their guest for lunch. I gratefully accepted her invitation and looked forward to sharing some time with Jason, Ellen and their young family. I really had no idea though, just what a treat I was in for.
Ellen and nine year old Hannah drove home from church with me while Jason went on ahead with Joshua--almost eight; Olivia--six-- and Josiah and Jeremiah--the twins.
Stepping into their home, I was greeted by the fragrant, appetizing smell of something very delicious cooking--brown rice with almonds, and pork tenderloin.
The twins were quickly seated in two high chairs and fed, then put to bed for a nap, while Joshua was happily occupied on the computer in the office.
The girls sat on either side of me on the buff coloured leather couch and gazed up at me with rapt attention. As interested as they seemed to be in me--I was smitten with them--these two daughters of Eve.
Olivia has hair the colour of copper and beautiful eyes to match, with a charming sprinkling of freckles over her nose. Three front baby teeth are missing, having been knocked out by a hockey stick this week--but the sweetness of her smile has not been diminished by that at all. And Hannah--tall, serious, thoughtful and helpful--with long, straight, dark blonde hair and dark brown eyes was delightful.
"What did you talk about this morning?" they wanted to know. They had been in Sunday school when I spoke. I thought for a moment before answering--it seemed important to answer seriously.
"I spoke," I said, "About the fact that God has a story in mind for each of our lives before we are even born."
I told them, as they listened with eyes wide--serious and attentive, that our stories and all the things that happen to us are part of the big story of God's love for mankind, and that if we know him and give our lives to him to use, our lives will be an adventure like nothing we can imagine. That was enough--they were satisfied.
Then I was regaled by music--Hannah plays the piano and violin with accomplishment. They sang for Ellen and I, standing together, hymn book in hand--singing all four verses of Holy, holy, holy--and Kumbaya. We looked at their special individual photo albums, lovingly scrapbooked by thier mommy--and they read to me stories that they wrote themselves--wonderful, creative and imaginative stories.
It was such a blessed Sunday afternoon being the grateful recipient of loving hospitality.
Psalm 139:13-16 (The Message)
13-16 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother's womb.
I thank you, High God—you're breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I'd even lived one day.