At the beginning of March, all of the LT Board, Staff and Missionaries came together for our annual Staff Retreat. Each year, as we gather, I feel like I’m at a family reunion—I’ve never actually been to a family reunion, so maybe it’s nothing like one, but, either way, it’s a bunch of people I love coming together for a few days. One of the days we were there, we had a time for local outreach and the team I was on was making home visits. We put together simple, little baskets with some treats and small gifts and headed out to visit the sick, the homebound, and the elderly. I was a little bit nervous going out, but I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and asked for the grace to love.
I remember being so surprised as we knocked on the first door and we heard a voice reply, “Come in.” I thought that was simply crazy; we could have been any ol’ stranger(s), up to no good. I would never answer the door that way. Never. My front door is usually locked and if someone knocks, I would see who it was and would probably make a few inquiries before doing more than cracking the door. This man, though, was ready to open his home and his heart to us, no questions asked.
I was moved with pity as I saw that this man, who was so vulnerable, was barely capable of caring for himself. Although he had a home, I felt like he needed so much. We spent some time talking with him and then prayed over him before we left. After our other visits, I couldn’t stop thinking about that first man, and how much attention, care and love he was in desperate need of. From the outside of the house, I never would have thought that there was such a need within. As we drove by other houses on the way back to camp, I was struck with a desire to know about the people living in them–what were their needs, how were they struggling, how could I help?
I thought and hoped that our small gift of presence and gesture of love made a big impact on him that day—the same way that his openness left an impression on me and stirred a desire growing in me to be that vulnerable, that open, that welcoming. When Jesus comes knocking on the door of my heart, will I answer with hesitation or shout gladly, “Come in!”? For He says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, (then) I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20). I do not want to miss out on that.