I’m sitting here, in a still sleep-deprived, mind addled state. I have faces and words, hymns and racing thoughts running through my brain. They run just as I did at Dulles airport to catch the tram to the terminal, to my bag, to my home, to my family.
I brought back memories, and dirty laundry, pounds of books, challenged assumptions and this:
I show hospitality to those around me, and angels unawares, when I treat each person in this world – near or far, face-to-face or remotely – with honor.
Honor and dignity don’t care about labels, skin tones, manner of dress, customs, language, ability, status, or the other person’s attitude toward me.
I can only be responsible for my own heart and my own actions in this life. And believe me when I say with full confidence and assurance, I will be held responsible for both.
I was profoundly struck by the words of Shauna Niequist during her keynote speech at the Allume conference last week in Greenville, SC. Hospitality was the topic, and as the author of Bread & Wine, this is not unfamiliar territory. When she spoke of entertaining and engaging with others she defined a benchmark for success:
I practice true hospitality when others leave feeling better about themselves than about me.
I don’t need to be the chef that leaves you wanting more, the designer that you wish you could hire, the entertainer that you would see again and again, the host who should have her own television show, the stylist that you want to go shopping with you for a new wardrobe, or the hero saving the day. I only need to love – and let others love me in their own particular way.
Easier said than done, right? Yes, until we practice it over and over and over. I find it interesting that PRACTICE is the word most often combined with hospitality. Practice may never make perfect in this fallen and broken world, but practice may make it a little less so.
So this is my take away, my intention. Just so you get the irony in that last sentence. INTENTION is my one word this year. I’m pretty sure that back at the beginning of the year I wasn’t thinking about this application. I love when God grows us and shows us new ways. Now all I have to do is say ‘yes’ and follow. Join me?
One way to show love and hospitality to others is by linking arms with the Allume Giving Circle and Pure Charity.
First, sign up with your own account. Do that here: https://www.purecharity.com/amy-collins-tilson?aff=j15k6
Second, help us spread the word about Patch a Child’s Heart with Preemptive Love Coalition. https://www.purecharity.com/lovefirst
How can you practice “hospitality” in a new way starting today?