The word "hospitality" is a strange word to me. For most of my life I have not really understood or desired it. It sounded antiquated and far out of reach. That's what old people did before they had fun things like the intarwebs.
To think of having people in my home- sometimes coming too early and sometimes staying too late- is a little bit intimidating. "What will I have to say?" or "Will they feel comfortable?" or maybe even "Who ARE these people?" are questions that come to mind and make me want to draw back from opening our doors.
Guilty as Perceived
Then, there is the other side of it. Today, I met someone at an event who is a friend of a friend who invited my family over for dinner soon. The invitation felt awkward to me. What does he want from me to invite me before knowing my name? What would I be getting myself into? Maybe he is one of those strange religious-types who wants to force me to believe something.
Ugh. Now, I know how I may come across sometimes.
Embracing the Awkward
But, even though that awkwardness is there, there is still something compelling to me about letting people in, whether that is at our home or someone's home or a park in the neighborhood. As awkward as that can be (!!!), this is where real life is. No room for faux friendships when we are cramped and huddled around a table sharing a meal. At least not for long.
Communities Saturated in the Heart of God
My heart's desire is to see the Spirit create communities of the gospel around our area that live real hospitality. Not merely because it is a command put on us, but because it is a joy to us. The gospel can be shared over a meal or it can be a night of hilarious laughter watching someone go all in at Guesstures. Or Both. But, one way or another, God's Spirit is creating something beautifully counter-cultural.
It may be counter our own personal culture first...just as a side note.
Worth Your Next Sixish Minutes
In light of all that, I want to point you to a video I watched while I ate leftovers this afternoon. She will tell you some of her story, but Rosaria Butterfield saw what it means to be loved in biblical community though a family who sincerely just wanted to be her friend and neighbor- not a project. There is power in sincerely loving our neighbors. The Spirit worked everyday wonders.
Please take 6 minutes to watch the video. It is worth your time. Click here to watch it.
Also, dig into Mrs. Butterfield's story a little more. Look here for it. It will encourage you to hear how the Lord worked in her life through the messy simplicity of gospel infused friendship.