The old farmer didn’t complicate it. This was it —
Three cups of hot coffee. A small plate of Oreos. And an extra place at the table, for me.
I’d stopped by the farmhouse up the road to say hello to my friends, Hazel and Helmer. (Hazel is 90 years old; she’s the older sister of Helmer, who’s in his 80s.) While Hazel and I sat on the sofa, plates and cups clinked in the kitchen.
The old farmer, Helmer, had set out “lunch.”
I tried to wave him off, told him I needed to get back home. But … oh then, … well. Sure.
And we sat.
Helmer led us in prayer: “Come Lord Jesus, Be our guest. Let these gifts to us be blessed. Amen.”
And we ate and drank. We talked about the weather, and the news. About God and the church. And crops.
I could breathe here. And I don’t even like Oreos.
Surely, every good thing in life can be improved by sharing it with another soul. And this, I believe is hospitality, the simple act of opening a space, of making room. It is a quiet acknowledgement of the automatic sacredness of another human being’s life. It’s the easy dignity of sharing a table.
It doesn’t need a tablescape. It doesn’t need matching napkins or three courses. It doesn’t require Pinterest’s help.
It’s just this —
One old farmer,
who sets out a cup,
and lets you know you matter because you exist.
And you can’t help but stay awhile.
The Perfectly Loved pillar mug, a gift from my dear heart-sister, Holley Gerth. (A gentle reminder of God’s heart for you and the awesome truth that He loves you ‘perfectly.'”)