There is a house about an hour outside of Lyon in the French countryside, built with river pebbles. It is 140 years old and sits tucked into these beautiful gardens, expertly cared for. The house has four flours and three times as many bedrooms, and they are regularly filled to the brim. This weekend our friend Sam’s grandparents showed us the meaning of hospitality. Ingrid and Hans’ home gathers people from all over the world, and they lovingly care for them all. This weekend alone they had 13 guests with Sam’s sister set to arrive on Sunday with 30 students from her youth group to camp in the backyard for the week. Anya and Sam have always been so generous (no really, this is the fourth country we have visited them in!) and it is easy now to see how it fits into a whole genealogy of hospitality. Ingrid and Hans have created a space where everyone is welcomed with food and wine and a chance to rest, but the love they show to strangers goes beyond Ingrid’s amazing cooking. I don’t know how else to say it but that their care is an ever present feeling in the house. As relaxing as our weekend was, it was also inspiring. They mentioned often how their lives, this house, were tremendous gifts and they couldn’t help but share everything they had. Through simple acts they demonstrated so clearly the outpouring of our faith.
Their joy made relaxing in the pool with Anya and Sam that much sweeter. It is impossible not to see the generations of memories made in their beautiful home, and it was a gift to add a few of our own. In addition to the lounging and the eating, Sam led us through the hills of the surrounding community by bike, through fields of corn and sunflowers. Our leisurely bike ride may have been slightly more uphill then I would have originally anticipated. However Anya and I had the advantage of the miracle of the electric bike, pretty much life changing. Jeff and Sam earned their cheese. After repeating the glorious cycle of eat, swim, eat a few times, we manged the strength to explore Lyon a bit before our train Sunday evening.
No where close to the size of Paris, but just as charming, We walked through old town Lyon all afternoon and ate some more. Lyon is the self-declared gastronomical capital of the world. Dinner was delicious, but I think Ingrid wins.