My house is your house...a very common and often said without thinking kind of phrase. In Mexico it is almost mandatory to say this phrase as you welcome someone into your home or you say where you live. I feel the idea behind it is "Come on in, take your shoes off and make yourself to home for as long as you need or want to." Sounds good right? Yet it is realistically a hard attitude of the heart to have. Are you really that unattached to your home/refuge?
It is not natural for me to use that phrase. I unconsciously think "This is my space and you can stay for awhile but..." So why am I talking about this anyway?
Yesterday we invited Sirenia and Juan and their three kids to come for dinner after the morning service. As we entered I said "Come in you are in your house." As we worked in the kitchen I again said "Here is where the knives are, feel free to use them besides you need to know you're in your home." She smiled and I cried. I think that after seven years of living here as a missionary, it was the first time I used this particular culturally accepted phrase and truly understood it and felt it in my heart! No Sirenia is not moving in, but my home is her home and I know that I could go to her house and she would say the same thing from her heart.
On a different, yet not so different note, as Juan and Sirenia stood outside the church after the AM service, her uncle drove up, ordered them to get in the truck and drove down the street to their little house. All along the way he was reprimanding them, "This is the second time I come and you are outside that place with those people!" Sirenia's reponse? "Yes it is. You will probably find us there on Sundays from now on." They discussed other things, he left and we pulled up to take them to our house or should I say their house? We had a wonderful dinner and conversation. They are so hungry for spiritual food! We returned for the PM service. As we said goodbye around 9PM, Jennifer (their daughter) said, "This was the best day! We started in God's house and we ended it in God's house! And in between we ate at our house in Izcalli." Sounds like I wasn't the only one who felt the true meaning of my house is your house!