One week the theme was “hospitality,” and I was a little confused. The other sessions dealt with what I thought were more important and practical issues like honoring your husband, cooking, parenting, etc. I just didn’t feel like decorating a table was that important. (Please don’t be too harsh with me. I’ve never been much of a cook or event planner.)
The lady who taught on this subject was so excited about it, and the other ladies raved about her. I wasn’t sure what to think--how hard could hospitality be? (Again, grace, please!)
Well, when the time came, suffice it to say I was blown away. As this lady read many examples of hospitality being shown in the Bible, I was reminded of my own life. I realized that many of the most meaningful moments had come when hospitality had been shown to me, or I had shown it to someone else.
Hospitality isn’t just about dressing a table. It’s about sharing all we have with others in need, and making a place for conversation, warmth, fellowship and refuge. It’s about opening our homes and receiving hospitality gratefully from others. And it can be life-changing.
A few weeks ago I was asked by a friend if we could house three missionary girls in our home for a length of time. We had the room and I was glad to do it, but wary. I didn’t know these girls from Adam. They were in the area to pray with people on the beach and minister wherever they found opportunity, and had been sleeping in their truck until now. Would they respect the house rules and get along?
What I have happily found is that they are wonderful house guests, full of gratitude for sharing space. They help with the cooking and cleaning, gardening and even some painting projects. They chauffeur. And best of all, they have prayed with me on some very hard days. Such servant hearts are hard to find.
“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it,” says Hebrews 13:2. I have thought a few times about asking these girls outright if they are angelic beings, and actually call them my three angels! But they seem to be just ordinary girls from 26-33, on a mission to share with others what they value most. And they bless me daily.
It’s very easy to be so preoccupied with safety in our crazy world that we isolate ourselves entirely with technology; and of course we should always practice wisdom. But don’t forsake entirely reaching out to offer and receive hospitality. Something wonderful happens when we connect personally, face to face, and take some calculated risks, giving up our privacy for awhile. We may make a new friend, encourage a struggling soul, or heal a broken heart. We may be healed ourselves. Or we may even entertain angels unawares.