Give Them Hospitality.
Kathy at work recommended the book “A Man Called Ove” to me.
I don’t make much time for pleasure reading, but this book was so inviting, I read it fairly quickly.
Rather, Carey and I read it together so we could share it. We took turns reading the book out loud – something neither of us had ever done before – but both of us hope to do again soon.
The book jacket is correct when it says, “You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll feel new sympathy for the curmudgeons in your life.” I don’t remember the book even mentioning God, but it really did make me want to better understand the other person’s point of view.
In the midst of reading the book, I heard a podcast from Dave Lomas at Reality San Francisco saying Biblical hospitality is “making space for people you don’t have to.” And he quoted Henri Nouwen from the book “Reaching out” as saying, “Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place.”
Lomas also reminded me that the dividing of the sheep and the goats of Matthew 25:32 is based on who gives a stranger hospitality and who doesn’t.
In the same podcast, Lomas said his children’s director came to him and said they may have to start turning children away – there aren’t enough adults to care for them.
He said, “We can’t do that. Jesus literally said don’t do that. We’ll close the church before we do that.”
The next week, Eric Johnson at Bethel Redding said we all need to be involved in the culture around us. We need to go into the city and listen to what people are saying and thinking. We can’t just hide in the suburbs.
I don’t know how to pray for people if I don’t have any idea of what is in their head.
All movies, songs, books, and sermons have a beginning, middle, and end. I realized I have often looked at people as if it is over, it is the end, they are who they are and will not change.
But in God’s Kingdom, everyone has a chance to repent. God wants us to repent.
I’m glad I have that chance. It seems I need to repent of something every day.
I do something to “flub up” (as Libby Beeson at the College Grove Senior Center says) more than once a day. I’m glad God gives me the chance to turn around.
And I believe He gives me the chance so I can give others a chance.
You can’t remove all the need in the world today but there are lots of ways you can help. Ask God where you can be more hospitable today.