It has just started to rain. I open the door welcoming the young family with my smile and the scent of grilled steaks intertwined with chocolate lava brownies.
The mother gives her name and sits down on the cushion waving her children closer to the father who is texting on his cell phone.
I take the name and put it on a waiting list in exchange for a beeping device that will bring hunger hope to these little faces in anticipation of a hot meal and kiddie sundaes.
The father still has not looked up from the phone and the mother is resting her eyes. I step closer to the children and I point out the “I Spy” animals on the menu. Little eyes light up as they find each animal. I giggle with them as we try to make the sound of each animal.
Their table is soon ready and I lead them and introduce them to their server who will receive the tip, the praise, the smiles, and conversation. The two little children smile at me as I go back to the door. Their parents do not notice. They have gone straight to their menus.
I am only the one who opens the door.
It is not growing like a tree
In bulk, doth make man better be…
In small proportions we just beauties see,
And in short measures life may perfect be.
Years later, with my hostess job at Chili’s well behind me, I open the door and welcome my little children in from their days at school. Stories of wonder and sometimes pain peppers the snack time. One classmate says that my daughter’s necklace is weird. My son gets in trouble because the boys were being loud and the girls got to go out and play. Each child sharing stories of the rain that fell on them through harsh words or anxious situations.
They are safe now. They will be fed. They will be refreshed. There will be giggles and hugs.
I get to be the one that opens the door.
The work of hospitality is not new to Jesus.
Behold, I stand at the door and knock
If anyone hears my voice and opens the door,
I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
Whether you are welcoming patrons to a restaurant or family to your home. Whether you are welcoming children into your lesson plans or an audience into your dance. You are creating a place of refuge. You are giving them a part of you. You are joining into their story with your small proportion to create a more beautiful life story. Each detail will shine in small bits and pieces. Each bit bringing a smile to the One who created that work. Your work matters. My work matters.
I finish listening to my children talk of their days and we snuggle down for a nap. Little drops of water are tapping at the door.
It has just started to rain.
This article was written for the High Calling. Every other week, they invite people to join everyday conversations of work, life, and God. Click on over to join the conversation!
photo credit: timemagagementnija.com