I’m linking up to (in)courage’s You Know You’re in Community When…
The summer I turned seventeen, my family moved across Ontario. I was awkward, with glasses and braces, in the middle of high school, shy and insecure. My family was journeying through a difficult time. Ben (now my husband) was my first friend. He introduced me to his parents shortly after I met him. I remember, he brought me downstairs to his den and they were curled up on their couch, watching TV. They looked sweet, all cuddled together. They still do this. I would have been fine if they hadn’t even glanced at me or taken notice but Jenny gestured to Weldon to turn off the TV and they both sat up and gave me their full attention. I don’t remember much more – they asked me a couple questions - but I do remember how I felt. Just those five minutes of time made me feel significant; they were interested in my life and they were warm-cozy personified. In that brief moment they gathered me in… into their family community.
A few years later I was a university student and lived in a house with three other girls. They taught me about having an open home: sharing meals, looking outward, being quick to help people in need. One day I arrived home to find Angie, an international student we had befriended, sitting in our kitchen pouring herself a cup of tea. None of us were home but she had let herself in. I know an open home looks different depending on your life stage and who you are, and, of course there’s the importance of boundaries… but I loved seeing, in that moment, the fruit of our intentional open home living.
And here I am now more than a decade later. And these are both ways Ben and I seek to build and be in community: To gather people in and to have a door squeaking busy on its hinges.
Sometimes I think of the impact of first meeting Weldon and Jenny and I remember the significance of one attentive moment in a life.
Sometimes we come home to find a friend sitting on our front porch and I think of Angie’s tea.