I didn’t write yesterday. Let me tell you why.
Snowstorm Saturn hit Chicago with a vengeance yesterday, and my work building closed at 2:00 p.m. I assumed I’d spend the entire evening snuggled up at home with books and movies, maybe cook myself a nice dinner, catch up on bible study readings.
And then my phone rang around 6:00.
The storm was still rip-roaring away as my boyfriend Jackson explained that his friend from college, Laura, was stranded at the airport due to a canceled flight. She had called him in search of help and, hopefully, somewhere to stay other than an expensive hotel or – worse – the airport floor. Jackson lives 45 minutes away from the airport in good weather, so his hands were tied, but could she possibly stay the night at my place?
I live a hop, a skip, and a jump from the airport and have driven through over half a dozen Minnesota winters, so I was a perfect candidate for the job. I got dressed, shoved the growing snow pile off my car, and drove slooowly to the airport to fetch her.
It never really occurred to me that I was doing something a little crazy. Looking back, I see I knew nothing about Laura other than some fast facts from Jackson, and now I was going to let her sleep on my couch, which isn’t even separated from my bed by a locked door since I live in a studio apartment. She could’ve turned up her nose at my vegan kitchen. She could’ve complained nonstop. She could’ve spent the whole night texting or facebooking on her phone. She could’ve been all manner of awful.
But she was Jackson’s friend, so off I went. And let me tell you, what a blessing!
Laura was a fun, easy guest. She was an adventurous eater and picked risotto from the list of dinner options I rattled off because she’d never had it before, giving me the gift of speaking in my love language. She was interesting and friendly and a very enjoyable conversation partner. She left absolutely no trace in the bathroom other than a perfectly folded towel. She was totally game to Skype with Jackson while we had dessert so he could “hang out” with her too. She slept under a fleece tie blanket on my couch without complaint. She was a good sport about our 4:00 a.m. wake-up call (so she would beat the airport rush). She was, in a nutshell, a fun, unexpected blessing.
The bible is full of stories about taking in the weary traveler, opening your home to others, sharing what you have with those in need. In this culture, we don’t have much opportunity to show this kind of hospitality. Hotels and express travel remove the need for stops along the way, robbing us of the joy of caring for someone this way.
This is why I’m all the more thankful for the opportunity to share my home with Laura for even a short time. What a rare gift to welcome a fellow sister in Christ into the inn when so often we have no room! And what a blessing to drive away from the train station this morning with a new friend and a renewed sense of the way God brings his people together to care for each other.
So… I didn’t write yesterday. But I think my excuse is valid.
Has God given you a surprise opportunity to care for others recently? Tell me about it!