The scheduled arrival of our guests coincided with a Gala Celebration we needed to attend. Okay—just tell them where the house key is; come in and make yourselves at home.
Did they ever! We arrived home at 9 PM to find them at table,
eating pancakes and maple syrup. The only ingredient they couldn’t locate was baking powder. No problem—found a new can on a top shelf.
Our guests welcomed us—Ethan and his new bride, Amanda, Ethan’s brother Aaron, and friend Justin, whom we had never met. Within two minutes, we were close companions, the conversation going all over the map.
The original plan was for the three Bowens to stay overnight, but Justin…? April and I did some fast, mental calculating. A double bed for the newlyweds, single bed for Aaron, but Justin would be relegated to the living-room couch or horrors! an arrangement in the cellar. We had no doubt he would have slept outdoors in the rain, had it been necessary. After all, he does plan to hike the Appalachian Trail this summer. But they opted to return to Justin’s quarters in Durham NH.
A super bunch of young adults, and we felt like their guests, even in our own home. A lot of history with the two brothers, and we had previously met Amanda. Justin became an instant friend. When the clock hit 10, they announced their leave-taking, but with guestbook signing and revisiting previous bonds, it was closer to 11 before they left.
Something beautiful happened that night, and I can’t quite put my finger on it. Guests of guests in our own home. A deep bond of love. A sharing of life in a context of distance. Is that how it will be with Jesus on that day when we enter our home in heaven—he there to welcome us to the place that has our name over the door?
This Surprise Party gave me a glimpse of the tight bond of love I long for with my Lord. If that love is not in place here and now, it won’t apply in the there and then. Lord Jesus, be my guest, but more desperately, may I be your guest?
A quick commercial here: If you live in the wider Haverhill MA area, our Meet & Greet author event will be held at the Nevins Memorial Library in Methuen MA on April 25, 1:00 to 4:00 PM. Jim and I will be among 21 other authors. Please be our guest!