Every Thursday night, the entryway to my house is littered with shoes. Dozens of shoes. Between twenty to thirty college students from the campus ministry that my husband works with come to our house each week for dinner.
Only the new people ever bother to ring the doorbell. They rest just walk in, kick off their shoes, and sidle into the kitchen. They compliment my cooking and take heaping second helpings. They play with the girls. I watch as they decompress from the lifestyle of dorms and apartments and settle into our home, flopping themselves on couches and sitting in clusters on the back porch or on the family room floor.
I can't imagine living life without an open-door policy. These students have become like family.
Late tonight, long after the meal was finsihed, I washed the dishes. One student came along beside me. "Give me any task to help you out," he said.
He grabbed the broom and swept the kitchen floor. Another student dried the dishes. One more sprayed the windows with Windex, wiping away all the fingerprints from the day. Someone else vacuumed. Another emptied the brimming trash cans and carried the bags to the garage.
Just watching it lifted my heart and lightened my load. It's what family does.