I like to have people to my house. I like it when they lean against the counters in my kitchen while I take hot dishes from the oven. I like the laughter around the table. I like to hear the stories people hold inside their hearts – the way they offer up their words and invite us all inside. I like the dishes piled up in the sink and the way my husband and I navigate around the kitchen when the guests have all gone home. The flicker of the candles as they burn low into the night.
I’m not necessarily good at it; this hospitality thing.
The last time I had guests for dinner, it was a fiasco. For one thing, the turkey didn’t thaw. I stood staring at it in my sink – frozen from the inside out – just hours before my dinner guests were due to arrive. Even if I took a blow-torch to it, it wouldn’t be ready in time.
And besides, I don’t own a blow-torch.
In these frozen-solid-turkey-moments, my natural inclination is to…well…panic. I always want it all to turn out just right, but it rarely does. There’s usually something that’s not quite Martha Stewart about the whole affair, and that’s when I remember that God’s not looking for me to get it right. God just wants me to keep trying. In fact, the actual words in Romans 12:13 say that we should “practice hospitality.”
Practice. As in, keep on trying. Don’t give up. Try it again. And really, it’s not about the turkey, is it? People don’t come to our homes for the turkey. They come to our homes for the fellowship. The wonder that happens around the table, or over the sink filled with dishes. They come for the light that gets birthed in the laughter.
Someone once said that, in the dictionary, the word hospitality falls someplace between hospital and hostel. One, a place of healing and the other a place of refuge. That’s really all anyone wants when they show up at our doorstep. They want to feel whole, and they want to feel safe. And that, my friends, has nothing to do with the turkey.
What small thing do you do to practice hospitality?
By Deidra, at jumpingtandem.comLeave a Comment