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by Susan.

A house open. A meal shared. Fellowship exchanged. Hearts knitting together. Jesus in the midst.

That's cell group to me.

And tonight was no exception. After all the goodbyes were said and hugs given, I went into the cold night and got into my car. But I didn't head home. I am staying tonight in someone else's home. A guest of sorts. I was needed to support someone who is sleeping downstairs just now so that his caregiver could go away for a few days. I feel completely blessed to be here. My only duty is to sleep and to unlock the door in the morning for the next shift of caregivers. There is beauty, there is order. There is love between these walls. And welcome. Even though I am virtually alone, sitting on my bed in the prettiest little guest room you ever laid eyes on, I feel a sense of welcome. It's knit into the care taken to provide the little things for guests like me. A small TV in one corner. A little group of teddy bears arranged on a shelf to be appearing to hug one another. Things of beauty placed here and there around the room. There is a white cotton blanket folded at the foot of the bed ready to be pulled up over chilly extremities. I am happy, so happy to be staying here tonight.

There are small appointments all over the house that minister to soul and spirit. In the living room, I found this small framed print:

"The Celtic Rune of Hospitality"

I saw a stranger yestreen,
I put food in the eatng place,
Drink in the drinking place,
and in the sacred name of
the Triune,
He blessed myself and my house,
my cattle and my dear ones,
and the lark said in her song
often, often, often,
goes the CHRIST in the stranger's guise.

I have the same feeling here as I do when I'm at Belinda's house. What a privilege to be her friend. There is beauty. There is order. There is function. There is "home". And most of all, there is "welcome".

Sigh... It's going to be another great night. Wish you were here!


Belinda said…
Oh, Susan, for those of us who love to express the gift of hospitality, our gift is empty without those upon whom we can lavish it! Thank you for filling the space of our home and that of my heart with your friendship.

How funny and uncannily appropriate those word verification strings of letters sometimes are if we notice them. The one I see now is "ressess." I hope that our home is a recess, a "hiding place" for people and also think of celebrating recess each week--a sort of sabbath--that's how I think of cell group!
Anonymous said…
I had an incident yesterday - someone I don't know well, coming to my home for the first time with a special need. I prayed she would feel welcome, relaxed. I prayed our conversation would not skirt the hard issues. I prayed a lot of things. In the end - even in the middle of it - I knew it was all just fine.

The word 'home'......I feel like I meet more and more people unacquainted with its meaning. Home, the creating and extending of home, IS ministry, isn't it?
Susan said…
Yeah, "recess" was always my favourite subject at school!

And Marily, you're bang on. "Home" IS ministry. Ask me how I know...

And Belinda? What does "farbals" mean? Cause that's the word verifications this time... :)
Belinda said…
Oh, Susan!!! That's all I can say. :) Are you sure it wasn't furballs?
Susan said…
OH! Furballs! Thank you! Now it makes PERFECT sense.
Belinda said…
That would be purrfect sense!

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