Matt and I have argued for 25 years about whether to open or close the living room curtains in the evenings.
He says to close them so everyone can’t see in.
I beg to open them so everyone can see in. “Let them drive by and look in our happy house,” I always say. He gives me the “you’re crazy” stare.
But once there was a warm evening in Texas, and I was walking alone from my college campus to the First Baptist Church of Belton. A few blocks from the church, I stopped in front of a house. From inside I could hear a family laughing, and the smell of fried chicken made its way through their open screen door, past their front porch, to my homesick nose on the street.
Ten minutes maybe? I don’t know how long I stood there and very seriously contemplated knocking at the door and asking if I could come in and join the family for dinner. If they were true Texans, they would have set me a plate on the table.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot over the last few days –that what happens in our house doesn’t stay in our house. Like the smell of fried chicken escaped its owners, light also can waft to a lonely sole on the street.
At Christmas time, Matt concedes to my open-curtain philosophy, because even he agrees that someone happening by should get a glimpse of our stupendous tree.
Isaiah 9:6(NIV) is one of my favorite prophecies about Jesus:
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.
See what God did there? He paid attention to the homesick heart walking by on the street.
Left his curtain open.
God has a Texas-sized hospitality. Right there in the Bible it says you can knock on the door, and he’ll set a place at the table for you, sure enough.
So don’t stand out there in the dark. Come on in.