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Invite the Mess

Updated: Oct 16, 2023

“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.”

1 Peter 4:8-9 (ESV)

Have you ever invited guests into your home who made a mess?

A few weeks ago, my husband and I invited our close friends over for “Pizza Friday” at our house. We love this family and enjoy spending time with them because our kids are all around the same ages. Their toddler son was not feeling well that Friday night and needed his diaper changed before we began eating dinner. My husband and I were filling our plates with triangle-shaped goodness as my friend held her son’s hand and led him to our rug to change his diaper.

Within a few seconds, I heard my friend gasp two words you never want to hear related to changing time: “Oh no!” By complete accident, some of the contents of her son’s diaper had spilled onto our new beige rug. To put it plainly, it no longer looked so new.

If you could put a face to the word “mortified,” that is what my friend’s face said, and if I were in her shoes, I would have felt the same way. Wouldn’t you? We promised her it was okay and it was, but my sweet friend continued to apologize for her son’s mess.

All of the parents in the room scrambled to find paper towels and cleaning supplies; ready to bend down on our knees to scrub and you could feel the stress of the situation rising in the room. But in those seemingly frantic moments, it hit me; this is what Christlike hospitality looks like.

Christlike hospitality is not about having the perfect tablescape or a hot, gourmet meal prepared; it’s about inviting people into your home, willing to clean up messes whether you made the mess or not. It’s prioritizing people's hearts over their (or their son’s) poop. Doesn’t Jesus extend this kindness to us every day? He loves us despite the messes we make, and always invites us back into His presence.

Friend, as you open your home this month, remember that some people’s messes may be easy to see, like a stain on a rug. But other times they aren’t as easy to see, like a discouraged spirit or a hurting heart. Will you welcome these moms, children, and dads inside anyway? Will you provide an environment that doesn’t turn away “messes?”

Your fellow Able Mom,

Mandy Johnson

Lord, thank you for cleansing us of our sins. Give us the patience and grace we need to wholeheartedly open our hearts and our homes to others. We love you. Amen.

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