"Hey, you up for a visit?"
The green talk bubble on my iPhone lit up with a text from my dear friend. She doesn't live that far away - a mere thirty minutes by car - but with young children, bedtimes, and conflicting work schedules, the distance can sometimes feel insurmountable. I see her far less than I would like. But still, as I stared at my phone I couldn't help but consider ignoring the message. Of course, I would have loved a visit but my home was certainly not company-ready. Lately it feels like my house is made up of 70 percent goldfish cracker crumbs.
I took a deep breath and responded that sure I'd love a visit. I figured that she couldn't be that close and I'd have a little while to at least do some superficial cleaning. But instead her response was "OK, see you in a few minutes."
She was close by. I had yet to shower, my house was a mess, and tornado-Mac was in the process of making an even bigger mess. So I did the only thing I could do. I hid some dirty dishes in the oven, threw on a hat, and opened the door.
The first few minutes of our visit I felt jittery. All I wanted to do was hop up clean or apologize profusely for the mess. But a few minutes later the conversation had turned to life's meatier details. It happened quickly. As can only happen between two very old friends. And it didn't take long before the crumbs and the dust and finger prints on everything disappeared from my line of sight.
I'm so blessed to have such amazing people in my life. People who will drop by without much notice for a quick coffee and the kind of conversation that can remind you of what it's like to connect with the people who know you and love you for exactly who you are - warts (or goldfish cracker crumbs) and all. And what a shame it would be to miss even a moment of that time because of a misguided fear that those same people would be judging me.
That night I sent Tracy and Mac out of the house and cleaned for hours. With the house perfectly shined and polished my family returned home and it stayed that way for at least an hour. Of course, nobody stopped by during that hour. But it doesn't matter. I will be keeping my door open to visitors from now on - I just may have to tell them to keep their shoes on.