14.7 A time frame
A time frame is fundamental to creating a realistic space of welcome.
I’ll discuss boundaries further below, but a time frame is fundamental to creating a realistic space of welcome.
Signpost Inn Evening vs Easter Feast
We only have so much time. As finite humans, sharing who we are and what we have cannot be without limit, and of course that includes our time.
My constant fear is that “it’s not enough”, or - to be honest - that “I’m not enough.” To address this fear, I imagine that if I’m going to love and welcome someone “well enough”, surely I need to offer limitless access to my time and resources! Well, how does that feel? Daunting. Impossible. In my head I start to think it’s mean of the other person to need so much! Before I even make a plan, I’m already resenting my guest! It’s understandable, but it’s just my fear of not being enough. I feel these things too, and it’s been helpful to embrace my little-ness: Jesus loves little me; my space is a little space, and my time comes in seconds, minutes and hours, not eternities (not on this side of Heaven, anyway).
The pressure is off! Humans live in time, and it’s ok to love them in moment-sized spaces. At Signpost Inn, we say that “The most important time is the present. The most important person is the one you’re with. The most important work is love.” None of these guidelines say “To be enough, you need to give up your personal life to open-ended spaces of welcome forever.” Not at all. Your guest is a finite human, and so are you. Setting a time frame makes a little space for finite beings to taste a digestible bit of the infinite love of our welcoming God.