Erik and Bekah Polzin and their kids moved to Walnut Creek less than a year ago. I've watched them integrate into the Open Door family at a healthy pace and in a humble posture...we have a lot to learn from them. After an incredible evening shared in their kitchen and around their table, I asked them if they'd be up for hosting a Super Bowl neighborhood party. They said "Yes!" and proceeded to host space where new relationships could be forged. Take a read as Bekah reflects on the residual transformation of that evening:
Have you ever noticed, no matter how big or small or glamorous or simple a house is, people congregate in the kitchen? You can set the h’ordevers 2 rooms away or form a candle lit path a different direction, but somehow everyone migrates to the kitchen.
Our kitchen was crowded on Super Bowl Sunday and it was beautiful.
Earlier this month we were asked to host one of the Super Bowl parties. Being that we’re new(er) to Open Door, I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a small part of me that was hesitant. Is it true for you, as it is for me, that sometimes I go to the negative before I see the positive? I’d have to clean the house, figure out what to serve, make sure my kids were “on their best behavior”...but we said YES!
We had little idea what to anticipate, being that we’d never experienced an Open Door “party” before. Would there be 30 people or 3? Does anyone even know who we are? Would we know them? Does it matter?
In addition to opening up the party for Open Door people, we ended up inviting our neighbors, who like us, have 4 kids are and are newer to the area. As one big group of individuals and families we enjoyed the evening together. We came from different parts of the Bay Area, different back grounds, different jobs and had different interests. None of it mattered as we watched 13 kids playing with one another, no qualms with what the other liked or disliked. They effortlessly created a space of common interest and left their differences at the door.
By the end of the night, they were all friends and were asking their parents when they could see each other again. It was a beautiful thing.
I don’t consider myself a hostess or entertainer. I don’t own a second set of dishes that I pull out to entertain with. I rarely light a candle or turn on music to enhance the ambiance of the house. I seldom look up new recipes to try. But I’m learning the beauty of entertaining and that these aren’t the details that matter.
Every Sunday night a group of adults and our 4 kids gather in our kitchen. It’s one of my favorite times of the week. For an evening we all come together from different backgrounds, different occupations, different ages, different beliefs and different views. Some nights we share meaningless small talk and other nights we find ourselves in heated conversations struggling to relay our perspective as perfectly as possible. We challenge each other and learn from one another. We push each other, apologize to one another and forgive each other. We push the boundary of surface friendships while respecting the importance of acceptance.
Our worlds collide in the kitchen and at the table.
I’m learning to say YES to the Lord and what he puts in front of me, and becoming a “hostess” is something I’m beginning to choose. Why? Because I’ve seen the Lord show up at the table and around the kitchen in a way that makes me want to open my home more to friends, to guests and to Jesus. The kitchen is a powerful space where judgment and variance dissipate. I’m discovering how much I can learn from someone who isn’t just like me. It’s where we all gather with a common need of nourishment and an even deeper desire for acceptance.
Jesus will show up in your kitchen. But we first have to say yes to the invitation.
Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three gathered in my name, there I am among them.”
Ephesians 4:15-16 “Rather speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”