Summer, with all its vacations and visitors passing through has ended. Our thoughts are transitioning to Fall, even though the thermometer says otherwise! I am reminded again of the dependable markers of passing seasons.
One such symbol for me is our living room, oriental carpet that my parents purchased in Beirut in the late 1940s when they moved from Palestine to Lebanon. This carpet has witnessed many footsteps passing through!
One of the “passing through” visitors this summer was a dear family who work at a boy’s home in Lebanon. As part of the mom’s reintroducing her children to us, she said to her 12-year-old son as she pointed to our carpet, “you took your first steps right here!” I followed up with, “and I took my first steps sixty-five years ago on this carpet as well when it was in our home in Beirut!”
As he whipped his head around from his mom, to me, to the carpet, this young boy’s response was, “Really? That’s awesome!”
Later in the day, as I was pleasantly re-playing our visit, I chased down other memories of the footsteps tread on this carpet through many past seasons: the Musaitbe Baptist Church youth group enjoying refreshments, games, and socializing with cookie crumbs falling all over it; I and my sisters’ slumber parties with quilts and pillows strewn from edge to edge of it; Christmas tree tangled lights and construction paper garlands snaking across it; and Sunday visitors bearing boxes of chocolates and marzipan delicacies placed on the coffe table on it; and crowded chairs on it accomodating war-time at-home worship services during blackouts and curfews.
So many “footsteps passing through,” so many seasons passing by, so many memories imprinted on this carpet. What is the constant theme tying them all together? Hospitality! It’s the breaking of bread together, the sharing of joys and sorrows, the gracious receiving of gifts, and the exhilerating welcoming of guests. People will forget what you said and forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.
I’m honored to have this carpet of many colors gracing our home to remind me constantly of the responsibility I’ve been given to pass on the legacy of hospitality.
Whose footsteps have you welcomed this summer?
Remember to show hospitality. There are some who, by so doing , have entertained angels without knowing it.