Inviting one into your mess can be a truly humbling experience.

I was reminded of this earlier in the week when a complete stranger knocked on our door. At first I thought it was a friend who lived in our neighborhood but was extremely surprised when I opened the door to a young man. (Wow, did I really just say that?) He looked to be early twenties and had that fresh out of college confidence about him. He was talking about spraying for the seasonal nuisances that seem to linger around our homes.
I offered to get the hubs because I didn't want to make a decision like this without him.
Before I knew it, the dog was snarling and barking. He had followed the hubs into our home to discuss further.  I silently cringed as he walked into the kitchen with dishes piled in the sink and made his way into the living room that looked as if a band of wild animals came through.   I couldn't have been more embarrassed until he pointed out a cobweb in the kitchen and said he would take care of that too.
So, I'll probably never see this young man again but, once the red of embarrassment left my face I started thinking.

When you invite people into your mess, you can look at it from two different perspectives.  Some people have the emotional messy while others have personal messy (some have a little of both...).

I'm finding out when you let people see the mess, the reality of who you are makes you approachable and real. It always makes me feel better to meet someone that doesn't have it all together either.  When they fight similar battles it gives you some common ground.

Elbert Hubbard says "A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.

I've spent so many years building up walls to keep people out, that now it feels foreign to invite friends over at times. I always wanted to step out and invite the few close friends I've made over. I never felt that my house measured up and as silly as it may sound, I thought the way my house looked on the inside (I like to call it "lived in and loved on") wold make them want to run for the hills.

I should've known a long time ago that wasn't true and even if it were, as mom used to say, "they weren't a true friend anyway".

I've slowly been letting my guard down. One messy kitchen, by cluttered dining table at a time. I've found our friends  don't care that some Saturday nights my kitchen sink is piled high with dirty dishes and the floor is covered with the telltale muddy foot/paw prints of Spring weather. They don't gasp at the occasional dust on my window ledges, or the pile of shoes at the back door.
They didn't come to do a home inspection for crying out loud! They came to visit and hangout with the hubs and I, not our home.

In regards to the emotionally messy, I would venture to say most everyone has been there. Something happens that changes you. Sometimes an unexpected tragedy leaves us raw and alive with emotions we never knew we were capable of feeling. True friends, have seen us in these moments and through these moments. They bring us coffee or offer to take the kids for an hour while we go for a drive. They sit with us while we cry, sometimes not knowing what to say but they stick by us nonetheless.  You know you've found a true friend when they can hang with you in the mess.

“Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It's not something you learn in school. But if you haven't learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven't learned anything.” 
― Muhammad Ali

As Iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.
Proverbs 27:17 NKJV

Linking with Bonnie Gray at The Faith Barista


photo credit: <a href="">Happy Birthday, Lisa!</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">(license)</a>

Leave a Reply