I fancy myself the Last Living Practitioner of the Drop-In. The drop-in is a long neglected practice that the world would do well to rediscover. What is the drop-in? Any unannounced visit is a drop-in, although any unexpected visit with the least possible warning can qualify.
Unfortunately the drop-in has fallen out of favor. For some reason, we’ve come to the sad state where nothing can be done without an appointment made well in advance. Children have “play dates” planned weeks ahead or scheduled as a repetitive commitment, lacking any spontaneity. Dinner with friends has to be entered onto our calendars like a dentist appointment. We can’t have people over until the house is clean to the point of antiseptic.
With its loss of popularity, the drop-in is sometimes considered an annoyance to its recipients. True enough, there are times when the drop-in can be inconvenient. That’s not a real problem between friends. If I drop in and someone tells me they can’t talk or get out at that moment, that’s 100% cool. But it rarely happens.
Almost to a person, the drop-in is as welcome and appreciated as a cool breeze on a hot summer day. It’s telling people, “Hey, I was thinking of you and actually acted on it.” That’s a tremendous compliment and a wonderful demonstration of love.
Try it some time.
On December 1, we commemorate the Ultimate Drop-In: Advent. This is the time of year when we acknowledge that the creator of “life, the universe, and everything” (including us) practiced the drop-in on Earth. God wasn’t content thinking about us or loving us from a safe distance. He didn’t wait till we cleaned up our houses or our acts. It didn’t even matter to Him that He wasn’t welcome. He dropped in because He knew we needed a visit and so much more.
This wasn’t just any drop-in either. It was supremely sacrificial. He gave up everything for this drop-in. I wrote about it at greater length here. At most, a drop-in causes us minor inconvenience and potential embarrassment if we visit at the worst possible moment. Jesus knew what it would cast him and he did it anyway.
So any time I’m the object of the drop-in, I’ll be grateful. I’ll stop what I’m doing and appreciate the sacrifice someone made for me. And I’ll be reminded of the Ultimate Drop-In.
I, for one, am thankful for it.
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners–of whom I am the worst. – 1 Timothy 1:15