A couple of weeks ago, around 18:05 on a Wednesday, the house was spotless, the dog was fed, the table was set for five, the Arrows were playing in the background and I was making a salad in the kitchen…
This was not the scene about two hours earlier with frantic vacuuming, dusting, tidying and the like. That moment in cleaning when you realise you don’t have enough time to clean the entire house and you rate each room on a scale of one to ten… One being “I’m sure they won’t come in here so I can leave it as is and just pull the door shut” and ten being “There’s no way I can keep them out of here and better clean up.”
At the same time as I almost had everything done, four people in the area received text messages with only an address. My address. All four headed out the door and on their way to me.
This exciting cloak and dagger type stuff (that included no daggers) was the order of the evening for my community. We had a Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner evening. A few weeks before that we had each filled in a form stating whether we were willing to host a dinner or would like to be hosted for dinner. I figured hosting a dinner party is on the list so why not! CA coordinated the whole thing in such a way that if you were hosting you were told only how many guests to expect and if there were any food allergies. And those being hosted were told only what to take along and then an hour before dinner, were sent a text message with the address of their dinner hosts. Great idea and great fun!
The lasagne was baking in the oven and I had just pulled the salad bowl out the cupboard when the first guest arrived…
The walk from the kitchen to the front door was filled with thoughts like, “What if no one likes each other?” and “What if no one talks to each other?”
I swung open the door and there stood K. I know K. Relief. We don’t know each other very well but well enough to feel at ease. And she brought dessert… An amazing Malva pudding! Yum!
As we were chatting in the kitchen the doorbell rang a second time. It was the Paramedic. Fairly new to the community but I knew her well enough. She joined us in the kitchen.
The third ding-dong of the doorbell announced the Pharmacist’s arrival. Another one I was happy to get to know better. The salad was done and so we moved our party of four to the living room and chatted as we awaited our fifth and final dinner guest. A couple of minutes later the doorbell rang and in walked C, with a plate of incredible canapés…
Conversation started flowing as we curled up on the chairs and couches in the cozy living room and munched on canapés… Some shoes were even kicked off I recall!
The party of five moved to the dining table as the lasagne and salad appeared from the kitchen.
The paramedic broke a week-long fast with that lasagne! As we all dug in (in a restrained and delicate fashion of course!) the conversation carried on, exploring topics from work, to family, to hobbies and the like. There were many laughs over stories that highlight my paralysing fear of birds, spiders and monkeys (and most other animals) and over the Paramedic’s family member’s obsession with dehydrating foods such as cucumbers.
The warm dessert and custard was washed down with mugs of tea. A long time and a photo op later, the ladies started making their way home.
As I packed the dishwasher I reflected on the evening, God had definitely knit us closer together that night which was the goal of the evening. I would never have thought of mixing K, the Paramedic, the Pharmacist and C at a dinner in the natural just because we’re all so different, but because we’re all family in Christ, it worked. Really well!
So crossing this one off the list drew me closer to four amazing women and was loads of fun! Have you ever had some surprise guests for dinner? How did that turn out?