Awhile back I heard from an acquaintance who asked to come and spend the afternoon with me. My initial reaction was to say no.
This woman seemed so different from me. Our likes, attitudes, and goals are so very different. And it would have been quite simple for me to use any one of my ready excuses: it's a school day, we have several things going on that evening, Jesse will need my attention ... I don't have time. All are true on any given day, but I was feeling guilty at the thought of offering lame excuses simply because I didn't want to get to know someone new.
As I wrestled with myself, I prayed aloud and asked God if I really needed to have her over. The gentle reply came to my heart. "Perhaps you don't need it, but she does." Oh.
"But, but ... I have lots going on! I don't have time to hang out with good friends let alone someone who I barely know!"
And that voice spoke again. "She is my daughter. She is your sister in the faith. She is family."
That one struck me like a two by four. Josh and I have always had an open door for family. Whether it's a week long visit from far away at an inconvenient time or a quick dash to the house for some sugar, we don't turn family away. We consider those relationships to be paramount and we've always told our family members that any time they want to see us, we'll make room. Room in our schedule, in our home, in our lives.
So here was God plainly telling me that I was trying to shut out a family member. Not a biological family member, but one related by blood just the same. The blood of Christ. And if I truly view her as such, then I must keep my door, my schedule and my life open to her.
Talk about conviction. So, I opened the door wide. I invited her in. We shared life. And we began a relationship. We may be quite different from each other, but then I shouldn't be surprised. I have several immediate family members that are practically opposite of me! And yet I choose to love them.
And there's the crux. Love. A choice. The moment I opened my door I chose to love this new sister. And I can honestly say I'm richer for it.