"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing, some have unwittingly entertained angels."
With three little ones underfoot, I don't always have the time, energy, or resources to practice hospitality. Especially of the sort my parents practiced with Greg.
But as the verse in Hebrews reveals, God's hospitality is geared not just towards friends or family, but also towards strangers or acquaintances. This is a challenge for me, and I'm an extrovert! What about all the introverts out there? As I have pondered this, though, I realize that a genuine openness is where true hospitality can start. It doesn't require fancy meals or well-organized games for the kids (although those are great). It doesn't even require formal invitations. Instead, I believe hospitality is an invitation to enter. To welcome others into our lives. Can't that happen anywhere? Even - dare I say it - on a blog or Facebook?
Just the other day, I was visiting a very old, frail family member. Unlike my normally distracted manner, I stopped, looked her in the eye, and asked how she was doing. She started to describe some of her struggles and I found myself wrapping an arm around her, rubbing her back gently. These are not normal responses for me - even unnatural - but I realized that it was exactly what she needed, especially when this older woman leaned into my arm as if she was thirsty for an embrace. I took the invitation and she took mine. Maybe for the first time in my adult life, I held her in a true hug. Generations switching places and I held her carefully after all the years she held me.
Could this be the hospitality that God inspires? An openness of the heart? I am ashamed to admit how few times I have allowed His Spirit to take me to such a vulnerable place. After all, this dear woman in my life could have "pshaw!-ed" my arm off or stepped away to readjust a knick knack on the wall. That would have been okay too, because the result is not up to me. But it was exhilarating to watch His Spirit use me to meet a need I didn't even know was there.
Please note that I am not boasting here, no pats on the back. Because true hospitality says that we open ourselves to His Spirit which does the naturally impossible and supernaturally possible in and through us.
More to come...
Resting in Him,