Sisters in Spirit is a series of blog posts by a group of women who felt that a spiritual perspective was lacking from the steady stream of news and information that flowed through their daily lives. They each agreed to carve out a space on their blogs on a monthly basis for a spiritual conversation. This month’s topic is hospitality.
I far prefer a home cooked meal to eating in a restaurant. If you invite me over for your family’s favorite spaghetti? I will think about it all day and be so very excited to sit down and gab and take it all in. I’ll bug you about the recipe. I’ll enjoy every moment of the experience. There is something about being invited into a home to share a meal that is intimate and full of grace.
The plate may be chippped, the wine soured and the kids screaming for something else. But, still. We are sitting together, sharing bread.
I have always wanted to have one of those homes where kids could go after school to hang out. It has a big dining room table with cookies and fruit and space for homework. It has a game room, with disheveled boxes of board and card games – beloved by the family. On the walls are framed posters from museum exhibits that were so good, you bit the bullet at the pricey museum store; you had to bring a bit of it home with you.
Most importantly, I always want a home where people feel welcome. I think hospitality – giving like you’d like to receive – should be considered a tenant of a Christian home. It isn’t just the nice thing to do, it is the right thing to do.
In Luke, Jesus said, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”
My hospitality is rarely fancy. Our friend Trond regularly stops by these days. He’s a bachelor and lives nearby. I get a text mid-week and sometimes mid-weekend asking what we are up to. I know this means, “Are you cooking?” Sometimes those meals are celebrations – with linens and courses. And sometimes they are a matter of survival, with warmed up leftovers and a plopped bag of tortilla chips on the table.
We eat together in friendship and the menu doesn’t seem to matter. Trond doesn’t hide his affection for my cooking, and we don’t hide our enjoyment of including him at the dinner table. He knows he is always welcome.
My favorite hospitality hack for house guests is to put together a small basket of goodies for their room. Along with clean towels and a bar of soap, I like to include chocolate, samples of beauty products and recent magazines. If I am really on top of my game, there is a covered glass of water on the nightstand and a bouquet of tied herbs from the garden tied with a pretty ribbon. (And if I’m working extra hours and struggling to make sure the Crockpot dinner isn’t burning – the basket is likely still tucked in the linen closet, alongside my good intentions.)
So, friends – I believe in hospitality, even if I have little to give. Not just because I think it is the polite thing to do, or because I have been hosted and helped so many times by kind friends too. But because great, giving, selfless hospitality is what God calls us to do. Also: a home is a far more interesting place to spend your time with a varied cast of characters.
Continue the conversation here:
Sarah is municipal attorney, mom to two boys, and United Methodist’s pastor’s wife. (She does not play the organ.) She is a life-long Missouri girl with a heart for hospitality and social justice. Sarah enjoys cooking, running, knitting and embroidery, reading, and playing in the sprinkler. Sarah blogs at www.beautyschooldropout.net
Bianca is a Navy wife from the great state of Texas (where she coincidentally currently resides), and she and her husband welcomed their first child in the fall of 2012. She has a passion for serving others, asking hard questions and sharing The Gospel with both her words and actions. Bianca loves Jesus, her hubs & her son, authentic friendships, traveling, making lists of all kinds, and trying new recipes which she blogs about on BecomingBianca.com
Rhonda is an attorney and native of Missouri. She is known for being overly-emotionally invested in her three, elderly dogs and dabbling in a ridiculous amount of hobbies, including sewing, music, and writing, while mastering none. She was baptized in her late twenties and is amazed and grateful that Jesus continues to put up with her. She blogs at bigsnafu.com.