I do believe tonight marks a rite of passage: the first party in the first apartment.
We went to the grocery store and bought “real” groceries–things like raw meat, spaghetti sauce, velveeta, tortillas, and eggs–rather than the dorm staples of Cokes and granola bars.
We hung pictures on the walls. They were actual, framed pictures that we hung with actual nails in the walls, instead of that annoying 3M tack.
We vacuumed, cleaned the counters, moved furniture, cooked the meat, and made queso.*
Oh, and what a party it was. The three roommates, a new graduate, and new college freshmen on the eve of the first day of class. We joked about our rival school and talked about moving to Texas. My roommates and I met and laughed with their faculty advisor, a wonderful man full of life and the Baylor spirit.
My roommate and our friend hung out on the dining room floor playing Set, Slaps, and telling tales of high school antics and college floods.
Several hours later, we all decided it was time for the end-of-summer watermelon. We called some friends over and stood on the back porch, legs and arms and chins running with juice like a five-year-old. I tried to spit seeds with the best, but it was clear who the true champions are.
And now, the guests have gone home and the doors are closed for the night as the campus prepares to return to school. I sit and marvel at the joy of bringing people together for food, simple games, and innocent laughter. What hospitality this place enables! A recent blog entry (here) reminded me of the simple joy and service of an open heart and an open home. Countless stories and admonitions in the Bible urge us to welcome strangers, to seek out the hurting, to give food and water to the hungry and thirsty. And so, this small apartment will host parties and late night talks and early morning breakfasts and everything in between as we seek to live with and love those whom Christ has given us.
*Which my spell check thinks should be “quest.”