12 Sep
I was in my kitchen last night, fixing this for dinner.  It had been a shitty, shitty day.  I won’t even pretend that it was nice; I cried pretty much all day and in front of all sorts of people.  But then, in the midst of dinner –
knock, knock.
Someone was at my front door.  I grabbed Mabel by the collar, opened the storm door, and began to push open the screen door.  The mystery knocker was standing kinda off to the side and as I pushed open the door, bent over holding onto Mabel’s collar still, my eyes gradually sized up this man in front of me.  Around my age.  Spandex shorts.  Tight biker shirt.  And off-sided grin.
His name was Eric and he is biking across the country.  He wondered if he could sleep in his tent in the church yard.  
Living in a house in the middle of nowhere by myself, I’m always skeptical.  My inner voice wondered if this would be a good idea.  I nearly sent him to the open field next to the cemetery but then decided that wasn’t very hospitable of me.  He didn’t seem like a creeper; he appeared very innocent and kind.  [The murderers always do, don’t they?]  I told him to go for it – sleep under those oak trees.
All night, I would casually glance out the windows that faced the church and wonder what he was doing.  [At one point, I looked out and he was half naked.  eek.]  I called the church president to let her in on the loop, and called Marilyn just in case he was still there when she arrived to the office in the morning. 
Then, this morning, I woke up and looked outside.  He was still there, apparently asleep.  Really, I wanted to talk to him.  I wanted to know why he was doing this crazy thing and where he was from and all of that.  Ate breakfast and checked.  Still there.  Walked to the office and positioned my office chair so I could see out the window.  Still there.
Finally, he was up and I went outside to say good morning.  I apologized just a bit for being so skeptical and skiddish the night before; he said he gets that a lot.  I asked him where he was from [Palmer, Alaska] and how he came to be biking like this [at 18, he decided his goal was to bike around the world].  He’s done his European leg, as I understood it; is heading for Nebraska to stay with friends for the winter, and then next spring will bike from Niagara Falls to Alaska before doing the Asian leg of his goal.  Crazy.
I told him he could use the bathroom in the church if he wanted and that he did.  On his way out, he paused in front of our offices and said, Thanks for the hospitality.  
Hospitality, not horror movie.  Thank you, Jesus.

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