I'm sure there is a place for practical wisdom and all of those parental warnings not to pick up hitchhikers. Perhaps this is the place to insert that.
But a few snapshots flitter through my mind when I think of hospitality to strangers...
- A middle-aged man rides by on a scooter with a four or five-year old little girl holding on to his waist. They stop at a trash can and he lowers the dirty bag from his shoulder. I look twice to make sure I'm really seeing this happening in our little town. Our little cold town, the heater in my car reminds me. Behind me, a six-year old passenger sees it too. We watch as he puts plastic gloves on the little girl's hands (none for him) and they work the lid off the trash can. My mind races, and so does the mouth of my observant daughter. We drive with purpose to the next trash can in line and I slip out of the car, shiver over to the container, and carefully lay my largest bill (not big enough) inside the can. We drive away, praying together for the pair, and praising God that He inspired and animated our hearts in that moment to be available.
- The woman's hair belies the many wrinkles on her face and I'm not sure she even notices how her left hand keeps flitting up to cover her not-so-perfect teeth. Many times she comments on my sweet family and then, asks me, "What is it about you that makes you such a breath of fresh air?" And I wimp out...blush...shrug my shoulders and list off things: "Oh, maybe it's just the sunshine. Or good makeup...[Then, like an afterthought...] And God." She changes the subject quickly and I wish for a second chance. I wouldn't make jokes, I would say the only thing that makes any of us captivating - Jesus. A shameful moment lacking in hospitality and courage that only He can supply as I trust Him with the results.
- And have I ever loved a complete stranger like I love this one?
Her eyes, her face, even her goat have been memorized in my mind. She is ours. And we don't even know her, have never laid eyes on her. Sergine. Child #________. She holds framed positions on our walls.Might hospitality - His kind - have a role in our supernatural love for her?
Resting in His Perfect Welcome of Me, and You,