Last weekend I led a couple of seminars titled Radical Hospitality. As I prepared I began to feel that I don’t know nearly as much about hospitality as the people who will want to come to my seminar – I may have a few stories and I may know the Bible stories that inspire hospitality, but today I feel like just a writer.
I asked my groups, what stories of hospitality do you have? When have you either experienced hospitality or extended hospitality? In asking this I was looking for stories that Jesus seemed to enter into or that we had climbed into his story and experienced God’s blessings.
Here’s what I got, and by the briefness, (you can tell that everything was written on sticky notes)!
- When I arrive at someone’s home and I’m almost immediately asked if I would like a drink or water, I feel valuable.
- As a college student, living away from home, it’s amazing to be invited into someone’s home for dinner. (Personal note: In college, I taught Sunday School at a church that made up a roster of families who fed me lunch each week – I made so many friends.)
- When I have a need and I feel ‘taken care of’ and ‘listened to.’
- When I was at World Youth Day, a lady took all our dirty clothes to wash and iron them.
- Due to an emergency, I needed to visit my friends to hand them an important document. Even though it was very late at night, rather than just taking the document and shooing me away, they invited me in and served me food.
- We invite team leaders to our family birthday parties if they are in town. We do the same for students who are away from home. It just makes for a bigger family!
- I try to take time at the centres I work at to go and sit and talk with someone who is alone.
- When I first moved to town I didn’t know anyone, but when I attended some young adult group, I had a guy take time out of his night to welcome me, show me around and introduce me to his friends.
- We opened our home to a refugee.
- I enjoy being invited to someone’s home just to spend time or to share a meal.
- I carpool to events and offer rides when I’m driving.
- I invite newcomers into my awesome friend group.
- I have used www.couchsurfing.org to both find a place to stay and to offer a place to stay.
- When I get love notes from my kids, they’re letting me into their hearts.