When I was growing up, Fridays were “taco days.” Friday morning, while we kids were in school, my mom and Hermelinda would make homemade flour tortillas, delicious guacamole, fresh salsa, and all the fixings. It was there that I learned to pile on the toppings until my tortilla threatened to burst, and slowly learned to enjoy tomatoes and onions. Tacos were my favorite food growing up, so Fridays were a little bit like Christmas for this missionary kid.
But it wasn’t just the food that made Taco Fridays special. My parents practiced hospitality often – inviting others over, into our home, to stay, to celebrate, to laugh and worship and tell stories, to eat good food, and to enjoy each other’s company. My parents practiced hospitality generously – with other missionary families, with our neighbors and friends from church, with the co-translators and their families, with orphaned boys who had been abandoned in the hospital, with fugitive terrorists from the Sendero Luminoso. And my parents practiced hospitality in a way that drew us kids into the practice.
Everyone was allowed to invite one friend over each Friday. So our family of six would often turn into 10-12 people around the lunch table – eating, laughing, enjoying table fellowship together. And each of us, from my parents to the children, was a part of being hospitable – of opening our home to others, and sharing our lives together. It was a beautiful, delicious, sacred experience.
As I remember Taco Fridays, I realize how all too often I’ve waited to practice hospitality. I’ve waited until I’m no long alone, or until I’m settled into a place of my own, or until things are better, things are easier. But lately, I’ve been challenged to ask how I can create those spaces for community to flourish – for Shabbat to enter my life and my home and my community – and am excited to intentionally begin putting into practice the lessons I’ve learned from Taco Friday.
Wanna come over tacos and stories and laughter? I’d love to have you…