Tuesday, July 01, 2014

why we need visitors

Clock tower at Old Port in Montreal. Picture taken on my boat ride.
Summertime is the season for visitors. We have had our share of house guests, dinners out with friends old and new, showing people the sights of our fair city (including the Jazz Festival), and organizing group events like a Friday evening BBQ and a Sunday afternoon picnic in the park. And that's just in the last 3 weeks! I love it, I really do, even though it can be a bit tiring. Not only is it a joy to introduce people to the wonders of Montreal, but I find that inevitably I discover something new as well. A few weeks ago I took a cruise around the port of Old Montreal for the first time because I thought it would be a fun activity for my mom who was visiting. It was lovely!

Spending time with people who have never experienced this place before means that I also get to participate in that sensation of new sight, of seeing something for the first time.The gift of seeing with new eyes has been particularly timely for me. I have been a bit restless, feeling a bit unexcited by the same old routine and the familiar places, people, and work to do. But it is not the same old thing, no no, it never is. Each day is a fresh and exciting start. Each moment is pregnant with hope and potential and change. But sometimes that is difficult for me to see. So thank you, visitors and house guests, for helping me see with fresh eyes again.

When I get tired of my condo and my neighbourhood, tending to notice only the things I don't like about it, my visitors come over and oooh and aaah at the cathedral ceilings, remark on the fireplace in the mezzanine bedroom, gaze wide-eyed at the green spaces and nearby parks, and get a thrill at the view of planes flying overhead. It reminds me that yes, I do live in a fabulous place!

When I start to complain about the endless construction, roads in disrepair, and the lack of customer service in this metropolis, my visitors make me notice again the vibrant downtown, the beautiful people from all nations, and the amazing mixture of architecture. Yes, I live in one of the most spirited cities in the world!

When I arrive at a church gathering for the bazillionth time in my life and feel a sense of fatigue and strain, even isolation, my visitors are thrilled to meet every unique person in our faith community, they remark at the variety of cultures and languages represented, they bask in the simple songs of worship, they hang on every prayerful word spoken over them, and they think it a privilege to hang out for lunch afterwards because it means the community vibe can continue just a bit longer.

Thank you, visitors, for allowing me to see my life through eyes of gratitude and wonder once again. Visitors are good for the soul. Have you entertained any lately?

Be ready with a meal or a bed when it's needed. Why, some have extended hospitality to angels without ever knowing it! - Hebrews 13:2, The Message

1 comment:

Lori said...

I never get tired of the fish pond near your place :)...and going for walks to get ice cream...and watching the planes from you balcony...