We were expecting two guests for dinner the other night;
two Christian men who were in town for the weekend,
whom we had not yet met.
At 5:30 Mark went to pick them up for dinner.
On the 5-minute walk back to our house,
Mark texted to let me know that a couple of extra men
who had come to welcome our guests to the city
were coming along for dinner too.
By the time they reached our house,
Mark had with him our two guests, and three extras!
Somehow I wasn't all that surprised.
Here in the Philippines,
where people are so very hospitable,
it's not uncommon to tag along
with others who have been invited for a meal.
It's just considered being friendly,
and a demonstration of your desire to spend time together.
The time spent in fellowship
is more important
than a perfect dining experience.
The kids and I scrambled a bit;
we cooked up an extra pot of rice,
cut the chicken breasts in half to make it look like more meat,
and the kids ate in the kitchen, since there wasn't room at the table.
Not all of the American food was a huge hit
(Alan wasn't so sure about those raw vegetables in the salad!)
but there were awfully big smiles as they bit into the chocolate cake.
And there was plenty of food and fellowship to go around.
Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another,
because love covers a multitude of sins.
Be hospitable to one another without complaint.
1 Peter 4:8&9
Those of you who know me well
are aware that hospitality is not my forte.
Though I wish for that gift,
I've got a long way to grow in hosting others.
God seems to know that I need to learn
by His grace,
and through the culture of our Filipino brothers and sisters,
to see these opportunities not as times to entertain perfectly,
but only to be perfectly welcoming;
caring more about those who walk in our door
than about what they might think of me.