I’m not particularly gifted in hospitality. Actually the word “particularly” is probably superfluous to that statement! I once famously kept a friend of my flatmate’s on our doorstep for over an hour before it dawned on my that maybe I should invite the poor guy in. And maybe when I did I should have offered him a cup of tea or something while he waited. Don’t think I ever saw him again. I’m guessing he gave our house a wide berth from then on!
All these years later, I’m still learning the art of hospitality. This week I put my brave on and invited my neighbour who has moved here from China to lunch. Aside from meeting her when she first moved in and the occasional wave out I hadn’t done much more and it was bothering me. Yes language is a barrier, but she has been brave and moved to my country and she is in my neighbourhood. I could sit back and assume that others are extending invites and friendships, but what if everyone was assuming the same? I could also make excuses about the busyness of my life or I could simply step out and extend kindness myself.
Did it put me out of my comfort zone, stop me doing other things I wanted to do that day? Yes! Was I nervous? Yes! But sometimes living life is about us showing the grace of God to those around us. It’s about making space for those around us who might need it. It’s making room for new friends or talking to that person sitting by themselves at church or standing by herself on the sidelines. And while my action was simple it is something that God values and calls us to do.
At the end of the day, in a very quiet way, just maybe I made her day a little bit less lonely and mine a little richer.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’” (Matthew 25:34-40)