Adventure HOSPITALITY week was all about a four year old and a twenty-four year old who came to stay awhile.
The four year old boy brought joy. He’s a head full of curls and twinkling eyes and smiles. I was part-time sitter for eight days and I was well loved. Mr Andy was, too. Wyatt would bid Andy farewell with a “Have a good day at work, Mr. Andy.”
When I picked Wyatt up at preschool, he would announce, “I had a good day.” And he would ask me, “Did you have a good day?”
Wyatt taught me that just about any day can be a “good day” and that blessed me.
He also reminded me that four year olds like snacks.
That blessed me, too.
One morning during our car ride, Wyatt proclaimed that parents start off as babies. He continued. “Everyone starts out as a baby.”
I chimed in. “Even Jesus started out his life here as a baby.”
Wyatt agreed. But never wanting to leave Jesus as only a baby, I just had to add – but Jesus grew up, didn’t he?
It was at this moment that I learned that Jesus liked snacks, too. I had never considered it.
Yes, Jesus growed up and when he growed up he got to go shopping all by himself and when he went shopping he bought popsicles and Mary and Joseph let him eat the popsicles that he was growed up enough to get.
Eight days of that, y’all. Eight days of that smiling, positive, snack eating goodness. One afternoon we made stove top, not microwave, popcorn. There was hot cocoa to be had, too.
And homemade play dough. Did I mention that I like homemade play dough?
Was it a little trouble? Sure. But saying “yes” to some part-time babysitting is worth it.
The other hospitality “yes” this week seemed a bit more risky.
Let me tell you about our house.
We have this room.
Off the garage.
With a bed.
And a closet.
And its own three-quarter bath. (That’s one with a shower if you’re not in the real estate know. A half bath has a sink and a toilet. A full bath adds a tub. A three-quarter bath lacks the full tub, but has a shower.)
We have been known to let people who don’t require a full bath to move into this room.
More than once.
Months ago Mr. Andy was perusing a political website and asked me if we could volunteer to house a campaign worker. I won’t get into the politics here. That’s not what this post is about. You can read about that in Adventure Week Two if you like.
Nothing happened for so long that we just assumed that nothing was going to happen.
And let me tell you that I can appreciate the beauty of offering something, but never having to actually follow through with it. That’s some easy stars in a crown right there and I’ll take them.
This did not wind up being one of those times. For on Friday night about 8.30 pm, Mr. Andy’s phone rang.
After a bit, he came to me and asked if it was ok if a campaign worker came.
“Yeah,” I answered.
And he still stood there with the phone in his hand. And I pretty quickly understood what kind of conversation they’d been having.
Yes, friends. The campaign worker needed to come “tonight” – that very night.
And you think that you have to clean the house before you can invite someone over for a cup of coffee …
I am here to tell you that you do not. You can extend sufficient hospitality without much effort.
Mr. Andy and I pushed a few stored boxes around in that room off the garage, made sure there was toilet paper in the three-quarter bath, and did a quick vacuum. During this bit of frantic housekeeping, Mr. Andy let me in on the upcoming guest’s name.
Let me just say this – and I do try to keep folk’s privacy intact even when I’m writing about my adventure with them – I’d never ever hosted a Mr. Houssain in my home before.
He arrived about 10.30 pm and I told him about the tank-less hot water heater and that he was welcome to anything in the kitchen that he could find and that I’d left towels for him and so forth. And then I went to bed.
And I don’t think I saw Mr. Houssain for a few days.
He worked long hours.
Sometimes hospitality is a lot easier than you think it’s going to be. Mr. Houssain lived in our garage room – well, slept in our garage room – for over a week before I even served him a meal.
To say that he was not much trouble would be an understatement.
Really the most we did for this young man was to leave the garage door up.
The twenty-four year old young man brought hope.
I saw that this generation is polite and hard working and generous.
Mr. Houssain was a lot like little Wyatt.
He smiled a lot. He said thank you. He determined that each day would be good.
And our lives were blessed by meeting him.
I’m kind of thinking that one day I might be voting for both of them …
Together they’d make a great ticket on any party side, my week nine guests.
Who are you inviting over this week …