“If you are a dreamer, come in,
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer…
If you’re a pretender come sit by my fire
For we have some flax-golden tales to spin.
My heart bursts right open dripping holy joy when we have people over for dinner. To have people, broken from this world we sojourn in, sit at my table. First we break open bread then we break open our hearts.
Something miraculous seems to happen when I share a meal in my home or someone else’s home. Sometimes it’s laughter that turns the sharp harshness of the world into a delicate watercolor haze.
Sometimes it’s a simple story that evolves into heartache and then maybe some tears. Which then becomes space where the gentle Lamb comes and mends us.
There we are, eating food and eating each other’s stories.
But I’m learning that first, we invite. And I’ve been learning what it really means to invite someone into my home.
At it’s heart, an invitation is not a request for someone to come enjoy you and what you have to offer, but instead for your guests to come and be enjoyed. To be seen. To be fed full up so they can forget about the necessity to eat and truly rest in the importance of taking a deep breath.
The root of the word “invite” also means, “to summon” and even, “name given.”
It’s weighty. Which is not the same as burdensome. An invitation can reach out deep into the heart of someone and say, “I know your name. I’d love for you to come into my home. With my people. Come as you are. We’ll be waiting for you as we are.”
Inviting can be vulnerable. For one, maybe no one will show up. I think we all have that story.
You know who else has that story? Jesus. As told by the parable in the banquet. (Matthew 22:2-14). In which the king invited all his guests but when the time came for the party, his guests sent their excuses instead of their bright burning hearts.
But it is ok, invite anyway. Especially in this cold, bumbling December. Because maybe someone desperately needs to hear their name called by someone other than their taunting thoughts. Maybe someone needs to remember the blood that runs quick in their veins is rushing to the cadence of the stories in their lives. And that story of theirs is worth sharing. Worth being listened to.
Believe me when I say inviting can be an act of trust. Trusting God about who to reach out to. Trusting God with who He will bring.
I think it is brave to invite.
You invite others. But you also invite yourself.
Do not forget to invite yourself. To step into the kitchen and cook a meal but to also step into the presence of everyone in your home. You ladle out the soup and then you listen to the story. Invite yourself to love fully, the guests in your home. To lay down your own insecurity. Invite yourself to look someone in the eye when they speak.
Who is it that God might want you to invite into your home this December? It might be someone you didn’t expect. Invite them anyway. It might be someone you don’t know well. Invite them anyway.
Or even, it might be someone who will bring awkwardness and a big heart mess. Definitely invite them.
How sweet a gift your invite can be. And then, just maybe, God will give you space to share & remind your guests that someone greater than you invites them to His table too.
- 1 rotisserie chicken, meat shredded
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 can (15-1/2 ounce) great northern beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup frozen corn
- ¼ cup white wine or chicken broth
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 4 ounces fresh roasted and chopped green chilies (or 1 4oz can chopped green chilies)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 cup plain greek yogurt
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1. In a large soup pot saute the onion until translucent, about three minutes.
- 2. Add shredded rotisserie chicken and garlic powder. Stir together and then add in the white wine (or ¼ cup chicken broth) to deglaze the pan. Let saute for another two minutes.
- 3. Add the beans, corn, broth, chilies and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
- 5. Remove from the heat; stir in greek yogurt and cream. Serve!