In preparation for my parents’ arrival tomorrow, Alex prepared some things for them.
An arrow so they know which room is their’s….
Another arrow on the nightstand….in case they are confused as to which bed they should claim.
A “welcome” sign attached to a quickly deflating balloon from one of my students….
I can laugh at this all…or find it endearing and cute. But really, who doesn’t want to be welcomed? To be affirmed for showing up? To know that someone was anticipating your arrival and actually took time to prepare the space for you, with you in mind?
Sheila, my former boss at Westminster Woods Presbyterian Camp, always stressed this point. If we were leading staff devotions, Sheila always made sure to arrive early, bring fresh flowers, light a candle, move the chairs or set the theme of the space aesthetically. And she was so right….it made everyone who entered feel welcomed, wanted, valued and desired.
Arriving to school last Thursday, finding an overflowing bag of Valentine’s, Teddy bears, chocolates, balloons, silk flowers….well, it put a smile on my face. And it changed the downward, stressed trajectory I was already heading down. Things turned around and my day shifted at the wee hour of 7am.
So………are your bags packed? Your backpack ready? Did you bring snacks and things to keep you busy? Did you pack some extras for your companions? Maybe the traveling companions you don’t even know yet?
Are you looking for it? Looking for ways to welcome? To make a place of warmth for those on their way into your sphere?
Luckily, there are often some arrows to lead the way, if we’re aware enough to look for the trail markers in our path.