“Well hello, Asa. Nice to meet you. Welcome to my home.”
Her voice radiated joy from the front porch where she welcomed her guests. It spilled over onto the street where I was walking. Joy does that. When a heart is filled to overflow, it spills over into the lives of those close enough to catch it, even the unintended. I wasn’t on her guest list that afternoon; still and yet, I felt her warm embrace as she hugged young Asa, wrapping him up in loving arms and holding him close to her bosom. I smiled, looked in her direction, and caught her eye. For a moment, I thought I might make the guest list; she seemed the type of person to take a risk on loving a total stranger. Instead, we exchanged waves, and I felt richly blessed for having been privy to this front-porch welcome.
It’s good to be welcomed, to be celebrated on the front porch of a heart and invited in for a look around. It’s a gift we give to one another, a grace we live with one another. Life is sweetest when life is shared. Those who give it best—those who throw doors and hearts wide-open to welcome new guests—are those who’ve known it the most, a long history of being welcomed by others.
I’ve spent a lifetime on the move. Really. Spaces and places too numerous to count. Settings and groups and small collections of strangers and friends that, on paper, don’t mesh with any regularity. I’ve stood on a lot of front porches, knocked on a lot of front doors, and had (for the most part) the rich privilege of stepping into a lot of different living rooms . . . a great many hearts. Certainly, I’ve had the door slammed in my face on a few occasions. Front porches aren’t always welcoming places. But regardless of the doors that remain shut to me, I’ll keep knocking, keep hoping for an invitation. Why?
Because when it happens—when another soul swings wide-open and allows me a chair around the table—I feel the welcome of heaven. I hear the whispers of home. I touch the heart of my Father. His welcome gets personal when he welcomes through his children.
A front porch welcome. This is love concrete. This is love tangible. This is love actual.
It’s a way we can love today, a way to bring a little heaven down to earth, bridging the gap between what is not yet seen and what is seen every day. People, strangers and friends, waiting … longing for the welcome of heaven. Why would we neglect to give it to them? Why would we keep such treasure to ourselves? Why not, instead, fling the doors wide-open, step across the threshold of our hearts, and shout to those walking by,
“Hello! Nice to meet you. Welcome to my home.”
Oh to live like this! To give like this! To love like this!
To welcome and to be welcomed. This is our kingdom work. This is our kingdom to come.
Keep to it, sojourners in grace. My door is open, and my love for you is certain. Welcome to my home. Won’t you come in and sit with me a while? As always . . .
Peace for the journey,