they walked in a tad late and sat quietly near the door. the room was full and the introvert in me was glad i could fade into the background. five months pregnant with our first child, i was super fashionable in american eagle sweatpants & a hoodie. i don't remember talking with them there, at that first meeting. i do remember sitting across from them at dinner one night, with the same group of people. we chatted about nursing school, which she was enduring & the hopefulness of motherhood.
somewhere along the way there came an invitation. an invitation to gather around the table. to break bread. to know and be known. the first time we graced her table, she prepared her signature dish, fettuccine alfredo with broccoli & mushrooms. we placed three tiny ones at a table near the window and gathered round her table for the first time not knowing it would become a tradition of sorts for our families in the years to come.
now sundays hold a place in our lives a reservation of sorts. the invitation stands unless otherwise noted. when we arrive we no longer knock on doors, we walk right in like family. we greet one another with hugs and high fives for the kiddos. we hold one another's babies we make meals together as we talk about the week and tend to bruises and scrapes from little ones at play. we shuffle babies, change diapers and wipe tears. we say things like " here, let me take her so you can eat." we ask questions that never get answered. we start and stop conversations a million times. we laugh. we know to where to find glasses and silverware, or at least i do, wink wink. we pour glasses of wine to start our evening and cups of coffee to end it.
these are my people. my tribe. my i've got your back no matter what. my call and i'll be there. the ones who know us right down to the bones and love us anyway. the ones who laugh when we laugh and cry when we cry. the ones who show up with coffee and meals when new babies arrive or they are just in the neighborhood. the ones who push me to be more, better, stronger just by living their jesus with skin on lives and it all started with an invitation.