I felt so draggy on election morning that I led our kids’ class time dressed in pajamas with a mangled crop of hair upon my head. This was not a typical morning for me. I like to set the pace for my kids and be ready for anything with sparkling white teeth, and hair brushed, rather than wearing nightwear that my husband once labeled as “gross”.
“Mom, someone’s pulling into the driveway,” a voice said.
At that moment, I wished I had pulled my unraveled self together. I crept up to the window. A white 15-passenger van, much older than ours, was parked in our driveway. I was forced to make a decision; should I hide in my shame and pretend like no one was home or I should I shuffle to the door in tattered slippers to help the woman standing at my door?
An older woman with a blue scarf on her head held a piece of paper in her hands with ink scratches upon it. I hid behind the glass door that filtered my morning breath, only cracking it enough to answer a few questions. I gave her the little information I had about the pecan grove behind our house and sent her and her friends off to linger in the grass and gather the harvest in their baskets.
I breathed a sigh of relief, feeling so glad that I could return back to my sluggish appearance in peace. Class continued for about 5 minutes until the knock on the door alerted me again. I hadn’t pulled myself together yet, the van was back in my driveway, and this time the woman wasn’t alone.
|These are not my dishes…|
My heart landed in my stomach while thoughts coached me to be hospitable, gracious, and kind. In my little country kitchen, my new friend Naomi and I bonded while I swiped an intense finger over the screen of my phone. I prayed that the phone number she needed would pop up and that I could be released from my looming humiliation. Then, it happened. It was the topper of the morning. More women came to my door, filing past the cluttered mudroom and into a kitchen where my dirty dishes overflowed. The crusty dinnerware from the hectic day before stood at attention among breakfast crumbs that clustered by the toaster. They caused me to shudder while the women filed into my kitchen– I stood there speechless in my exposure. An emptying feeling ran down my arms and legs. There was nowhere for me to run or hide and I felt my insides slinking backward in shame. They weren’t just any women- they were clean Amish women. All seven or eight of them stood in silence waiting to use the boys’ bathroom… and for all of us who’ve raised boys—we know what that means.
I stood there, humbled and deflated.
Any pride that I grasped– deserted me.
After every young lady used the washroom, I found that illusive number in my phone.
“Well, thanks for coming… have a great time… I’m sure you all got your laugh for the day,” I said.
They all giggled and filed out of my life at that moment.
Pride went before a fall onto my knees that morning. I didn’t realize that my home and my appearance were the issues at hand – but God knew better. He wanted to tend my garden and uproot the strangling weeds of pride. That choking killer that has the ability to keep me distanced from people. Distanced from people that God sends my way to love rather than impress. It was my untidy appearance and home that almost kept me from opening the door and welcoming those precious women into my life– it was a struggle for my heart and obedience. Is there a battle going on in your heart and mind when it comes to loving others? My advice- follow the life giving words of Jesus in John 13:34-
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”