Last night, my friend Mandie came over for dinner. She is a Bible college student who is several years younger than me. She asked me to get together with her once a month or so for some informal mentoring. Last night was our second “meeting” and her first time over to our apartment.
Trying to remember all these great lessons in hospitality I’ve been learning, I planned a simple meal: lasagna and salad, and Mandie said she would bring some garlic bread. I made the lasagna Monday night (my mom’s recipe – uses cottage cheese instead of ricotta – I love it!) so all I would have to do on Tuesday was just pop it in the oven.
I had been up till midnight or later on both Sunday and Monday nights painting the dining room, so when I got home from work Tuesday night, I had to clean up the dining room and living room and hang everything back on the walls. When Mandie arrived, I wasn’t finished, but I tried to remember that hospitality is more about a giving attitude than a perfect house. I welcomed her, we put the bread in the oven, and while Matthew made her a fabulous caffeinated beverage, I finished straighteneing up and set the table. (I didn’t have time to make a salad, but that’s okay – no one knows that but me! And, now, the Internet.)
We sat down to eat, and I was pretty proud of myself for how well things were going. About halfway through the meal, I stood up to serve myself another piece of lasagna. As I started to scoop it out of the pan, my plate just slipped through my fingers–so–and went down–down–down and broke, on the edge of the baking dish, into a thousand pieces, most of which ended up all over the lasagna.
I just stood there. Mandie and Matthew stared at me.
Eventually I recovered my faculties and started to clean up the mess. We realized that most of the pieces had fallen on the half of the pan that was already empty, so it wasn’t too much of a loss. We carefully picked up the pieces and moved on with the meal.
After dinner, Mandie helped me clear the table and then we sat in the living room and had a very nice time talking. We went through some scripture passages about Godly womanhood. She had to ask for a blanket at one point – oops, another boo-boo! I forgot how cold our house seems to someone who is not used to viewing a 63-degree home as “luxuriously warm” (compared to 54 at night).
Before she left, she commented, “You really do have a great gift of hospitality!” So I guess that means it turned out well after all. (Hey, at least we didn’t almost kill her, like we did with our first-ever dinner guest.)
And then I fell asleep, leaving almost every light on and about 10 candles burning. Matthew blew them out when he got home from work at 4 a.m.
P.S. I just ate my leftover lasagna for lunch. And bit down on a piece of broken plate.