A storm blew through our area a few days ago bringing wind, lightning, and heavy rain. At one point in the evening, I thought I heard something fall outside near our front door. I peered through the window but couldn’t see anything out of place. The next morning, when my husband stepped out the door to go for a walk, he found our carved stone welcome sign on the ground in multiple pieces.
I don’t remember when I bought that sign, but it has made three moves with us and hung beside the front door at four different houses. It has welcomed family, friends, neighbors, delivery men and women, and even a few door-to-door salesmen. I always think it’s nice to have a welcome sign near the door, and the sandstone material and carved Kokopelli of this one remind me of my southwestern heritage.
Now, it’s in the trash can.
It seemed like an ominous sign during these days of “social distancing.” It’s not a good idea right now to have friends and family over for a visit. Delivery drivers drop off their goods and move away from the door as quickly as possible. We wave hello to neighbors when we drive or walk by, but we keep our distance and don’t stop to talk. It’s not a very welcoming environment—at least not in the traditional ways.
I’m trying to find other ways to welcome people into my life. I’m calling family members more frequently. I’m checking in with friends by email or on Facebook. I can share words of hope and faith through my blog and on Instagram. I can continue to support my church and other good causes through donations. I can offer assistance to neighbors who need someone to run an errand.
Being a welcoming person doesn’t require a stream of people coming through my front door. It just requires an open heart.
The broken welcome sign made me think of another important point. There are some things I don’t want to welcome into my house now or ever. Panic is not welcome here. Unkind and unhelpful words are not welcome here. Greed and hoarding are not welcome here. Doubt of God’s love and mercy are not welcome here. These things creep in every once in a while when I let my guard down. I can entertain them like welcome guests or I can show them the door. I need to stay vigilant and be un-welcoming to these unhelpful thoughts and attitudes.
That may be harder than ever right now, but I also need to remember that this health crisis is temporary—no matter how many weeks or months it lasts. It cannot deprive us of the permanent promises of God to his people: “You will receive a rich WELCOME into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:11).
What about you? What are doing to be a welcoming person in this time of closed doors?
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What is my mission as an author? The goal dearest to my heart is to help Christians think about what they really believe and then to act as if they believe it. It all begins with understanding what it means to be a Christian. Then we have to learn to live like a Christian.