I have been thinking about this topic recently because I have been teaching my daughters about friendship and how to be a Biblical friend. I was pondering hospitality in this context and thought about how the girls have opportunity everyday to practice hospitality- even at school!
Someone who is "hospitable" is welcoming. She is inviting. She tries to make someone else feel comfortable....accepted. When a group of girls are playing on the playground, and there is someone who is left out or alone, it is hospitable to GO TO THAT person and invite her into the group....welcome her in.
How often, as adults, do we face similar situations? Do we invite an outsider "in" to our circle of friends? Do we make the effort to welcome newcomers? Do we GO TO THAT person (pick up the phone) and invite her?
I watched a perfect example of exactly that same kind of hospitality in my home. I host an annual cookie exchange every Christmas. By the way, this IS a perfect opportunity to practice hospitality. Instead of just inviting my close personal friends, I try to go out of my way and invite new people.....people who may need a friend....unchurched. I pray every year and ask God to show me more people who would benefit from my hospitality. There usually is a big group of women who come- sometimes as many as thirty or more. My family room and kitchen are busy with chatter and laughter. One year, as I was surveying the crowd, checking drinks for refills, chatting with different groups of ladies, I noticed one lady sitting by herself on the couch. As I was approaching to talk to her, another one of my friends sat next to her and began a conversation. As I watched, they laughed and talked for most of the evening. After the party, I asked my friend who sat with the lone lady how she knew her. I will never forget my friend's response. She said that she didn't know the lady, but noticed that she was alone. So, she sought her out and spent the evening with her.
To me, that is the perfect example of hospitality......to seek out the lost....to extend a hand of friendship.....to welcome and make the person feel at home...at ease....comfortable....and accepted.
Lord, may I always welcome others in Your Name. Make my home a place where the doors are always open to strangers and those who need a refuge. Give me a HEART willing to share my home and my comfort with others. Help me to develop the SKILLS of hospitality. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.
Don't forget to stop by the Well to read more great inspiration. And, please join in the conversation! I would love to read your thoughts on hospitality! Link here.