Mitu grabbed my hands and looked into my eyes. Her chin quivered as she asked, “Why didn’t you come to our home for Christmas?” (Oh, great. Well, we were kinda busy visiting myriads of other people, and hadn’t I just visited her a couple weeks ago?)
“I’m sad that I couldn’t come,” I answered, with a gentle, wistful smile.
“What good does your sadness do now?” she wondered. “I missed you then.”
Are you getting the picture? Visiting is super important here. It’s the greatest gift I can give. And I didn’t come through for her. Yet when we can visit, Bangladeshis, kings of hospitality, welcome us well. This past weekend, at church, Mridul preached on the ministry of hospitality. He explained, “We Bengalis may not eat chicken all year. Who cares?! But if a guest arrives, we’ll kill the chicken and celebrate!”
I’ll tell you, living in Bangladesh makes the Bible more vivid and God’s grace more amazing. To visit someone is to honor her, to say that she is worth my time, to acknowledge that I thought of her, to show the watching neighborhood that I value her. To visit someone is to love someone. Remember Zechariah’s happy song when he finally saw baby Jesus: “God has come; He has visited His people!” Now that’s love! God values us, thinks of us, says we’re worth His time. How good is that~