I’ve had some days filled with frustrations and troubles. And once in a while I have gotten a day off in the midst of those stressful times. But if I stay at the hospital, I usually end up still feeling attached to it. So, one day I found a place to run. On this side of the nearest city, up a steep, rutted dirt road, tucked away I found a refuge. Inside was like no house I’ve ever been in. Everyone was welcome, all the time. A wonderful, genuine couple and their daughters lived there. But then, it wasn’t just their genetically proven family. Girls with dreams for education that their culture wouldn’t sustain lived and studied online school there. Two more young missionary women stayed long term. And then there are the short term folks passing through. Cultures, tribes, races all intertwined in conversation. Together it is a strange and warm patch-work quilt.
Every weekend a slumber party naturally occurs. Visitors are welcome, bunk beds are full, mattresses pulled out onto the floor. So many young women. I was almost certainly the oldest, at 30 years, while those in their teens to 20s filled the place, finding relaxation and rest. I’ve never seen such people who are so graciously open to the wandering passer-by.
I met the family when one of them showed up to be seen in my clinic. Soon following, I began getting the text message that “pizza and movie night is Friday if you want to come” on a weekly basis. As often as Friday would come, so would the sleepover. I couldn’t go too often, but once in a while I would make it down. Kneading dough for pizza, arranging the toppings, everyone adding something to the preparation, until everything was ready. Then the movie, and as I longed for sleep, another movie. Then pull out the futon and fall asleep. Those have been strange nights for me, reminding me of youthfulness, filled with tiredness and refreshment of late nights and good company.
I don’t think I have ever met more freely hospitable people. I will always be grateful for their giving me a place for renewal. Tonight, as I remember how gracious that family has been, I pray for them in their sadness. The mother found ultimate rest in the Savior that she has served. As she has welcomed others so many times, now she has been welcomed home.
Then the righteous will answer Him, “Lord…when did we see You a stranger and invite You in..?” The King will answer and say to them, “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to me”.