I gave her a hug and the food and left with a sad heart … sad that, after twenty years of friendship, she couldn’t trust me to see beyond the house and love and care for the beautiful woman she is.
But I get it, I really do. We all have an acquaintance with pride, shame and guilt. Certainly I’ve been known to rush around getting the house tidy before folks came because I didn’t want them to think badly of me.
How much we lose when we put pride before hospitality.
I believe hospitality is so much more, creating a safe place where people feel free to be themselves and providing a space where they feel heard.
It doesn’t have to be a physical place, I can offer hospitality to a homeless person on the street just by sitting with them and showing them I care. So many of them say they feel invisible as people walk on by avoiding their eyes. They long for a smile, a friendly word, they long for inclusion. And isn’t that what we all long for, to be included?
Do I have an open door to my life, willing to let people take me as they find me? Can I sit down in the muddle of whatever is going on and be present with another soul?
We are all longing for love and vulnerability even though it might feel like the scariest thing we could wish for. Hospitality can be that bridge which connects two hearts and meets the deepest needs of the human soul. Whether we offer a meal, a bed or a listening ear, if it’s motivation is love, it will connect us.
All around us are people who are feeling lonely, uncared for and hungry for much more than a fast-food experience. Hospitality is the banquet, the love feast that reflects a Saviour whose name is love.