This is an update to my last post. I decided to just make this a post instead of leaving my response in the comments…
So there I was, juicy cheeseburgers popping on the skillet in front of me, my little guests just having accepted my invitation to dinner, trying to figure out what to do about the fact that there wasn’t enough and our pantry was pretty bare. In a moment of quick thinking, I told the girls that they could choose between cheeseburgers or PBJ, not mentioning that we didn’t have enough of the burgers. I almost fell to my knees and cried tears of joy when Catherine said she’d prefer a PBJ (not exactly a shining example of worldly detachment, I know).
That’s actually the reason I wanted to know what you all would do: the situation ended up resolving itself for me, but I know that I’ll be in that position again one day (probably one day soon) and I wanted to get some advice. I’m so glad I did, because your input has changed the way I see the situation.
Here’s a comment left by an anonymous reader that sums up many of the other comments:
By the time I finished reading your post, I was set on my answer – I would give them burgers and eat a peanut butter sandwich myself beforehand, then plead no appetite at the table. I’d do it happily.
But after reading the comments, I reconsidered. This situation could be seen as an opportunity for the girls to truly appreciate the Christian spirit (or just plain hospitality) not subconsciously, while they were wolfing down my burger, but openly, taught to them with good grace.
So I’d cheerfully let them know we didn’t have enough burgers for all, and invite them into my pantry to help me figure out how we could use various ingredients to expand the meal into a “high tea” – a bitsy feast of things. I’d make it fun, friendly, and welcoming, but at the same time they could see what someone was willing to do for them. They could appreciate the reality of your situation – but still feel welcome too.
This has really given me a new perspective on Christian hospitality and making room for my little friends at the table. I think it’s the perfect solution, especially considering that this happens fairly frequently: cheerfully let the girls know that they’re always welcome at our table, and let them help pick out extra food from the pantry to round out the meal.
Thanks for all the great comments!
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