X is for Xenial
Xenial is to be hospitable, especially to strangers or foreigners. (It is also defined as having something to do with pollinating flowers, but we’ll leave that for now 🙂 )
Himself and meself have been made so welcome by our church family. Already we feel like we know each other; since the very beginning we’ve felt at home. Back when it was new and a bit unnerving, waiting for the final decision to be made, we were always welcomed with open arms and hearts.
I grew up hearing a particular phrase regularly. “You’re in your Granny’s.” It means, you can relax, sit where you want to, help yourself to whatever you’d like. I remember a few years ago a missionary couple were doing some church visits near us and the accommodation they’d arranged had fallen through. We were asked to put them up. We had plenty of space, so we said yes. I was worried though. They were going to be with us for a week; going out to different meetings; sometimes here for dinner, other days for lunch. I wanted them to feel like they were ‘in their granny’s’ and desperately hoping that wouldn’t mean them driving me mad.
They arrived late the after a meeting, and then they’d unpacked their car and coats were off, I asked if they would like anything before they went to bed. The answer came, “Do you mind if I have some toast please?” That night over tea and toast we became firm friends. I love that they felt comfortable to ask, and they loved the toast. To this day they are dear to us and we’ve visited them a few times for toast and chats.
Living on site means that we could have more visitors than we expect, at unexpected times. We want to keep the balance of having time to ourselves, but also sharing our time and our home with others. I hope we will always be ‘xenial’ as others were to us when we came here first. The only reason I cannot call them ‘xenial’ anymore is that we are no longer strangers, we’re family. x