Practice hospitality. (Romans 12:13)
From time to time, I marvel at friends of ours, a couple who are particularly good at hospitality. They have a special knack for putting their guests at ease and drawing them into an atmosphere of acceptance, peace, and inclusion.
We typically think of hospitality as hosting others in our own space, such as in our home, our office, or even a hospitality suite. And rightfully so, for opening to others our place of peace is a gift thoughtfully offered and refreshingly received. Yet the longing to be welcome, warm, and wanted follows people wherever they go, and, unfortunately, public places where we know no one can be the loneliest locations on earth. I know it’s not just me, because I see isolation on faces wherever I go—in the bakery-cafe, in the grocery store, or at the gym. It can be especially pronounced in church, where people seek hope, only to come and go, untouched.
So I’ve decided to respond to “alone in a crowd” when I see it. Often it takes no more than a genuine, purposeful smile that says, “You matter.” Sometimes, it is a helping hand that elicits the silent shout, “Someone cares about me!” And we may never know the impact of stepping away from the comfort of our group and into the life of an uncomfortable stranger.
Hospitality can be served up at home, or we can make it to go. For people savor “You are welcome here” wherever it is found. May they find it in us.
Lord, today help me see people in need of a touch of hospitality, and grace me to know how best to extend it. Amen.
[Read today’s Scripture in Romans 12:9-16.]