Monday, September 22, 2014

On giving to those in need and showing hospitality

Share with the Lord’s people 
who are in need. 
Practice hospitality.  

Romans 12:13

I sit in wonder again at how God works in even the little details of our lives.

Back in January I set up the "schedule" as far as what verse of Romans 12 I was going to focus on for each month.  I had no idea what was planned all the way out in September.  The calendar was clear.

But here I am, with the verse staring me in the face:  Share with your Brothers and Sisters.  Give to them that are in need.  Practice hospitality.

I've already posted once this month in a way that we all can show support and give to another one of our brothers and sisters.  And even though we would love your monetary donation to help out hurting children, even more we would love your prayers.  Prayers for Justin and Carey, for their marriage, for their two surviving children, for their ministry as they share their story with others.  We can give so much to one another.  It doesn't have to be dollar bills.

Pray above all else.

But also Time.

A car ride.

A load of hand-me-down clothes.

A coffee.

A note. (or email, or Facebook post, or Tweet, or whatever else is out there...)

There are SO many ways to give to one another who are in need. These were just off the top of my head.  There is a lot of creativity out there - start sharing and giving!

And then there is the second half of that verse.  That one is a bit tougher for me.  Helping someone out?  I'm there!  Practice hospitality?...excuse me a moment I think I'm needed...somewhere...else...

I love the idea of hosting others in our home.  Opening up our doors and inviting people in.  It sounds so fun, friendly, warm.

But I often choke on the implementation of it.

It's hard to swallow the sweetness of hospitality when you've got a knot of perfectionism caught in your throat.

I want to be OK with the pop-ins.  The visitor who calls 5 minutes before showing up.  The guest who knocks on the door with warning.  Happily open our home to 20+ guests for an evening.

But so often I want my house to be picture perfect before anyone comes. (To go down a more drastic path, I actually like my house to look like that every night before I go to bed.  Seriously.  I know I have an issue.  And so does my household.)

But as the dictionary states, hospitality is the friendly reception and treatment of guests or strangers. The quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm, friendly, generous way.
Nowhere in that definition does it state anything about having your house look great.
Hospitality is all about the feeling that is evoked when someone walks into your home.
Do they feel welcome?  loved?  
This post has taken me over a week to write in it's completion.  Just spurts here and there.  And in this week I read on my friend's blog about hospitality.  Although the word was never mentioned, the whole post reminded me of what true hospitality looks like. 
This month we have hosted a few different things in our home.  And this short little verse is a great reminder to me:  practice hospitality.  Because I have found I truly enjoy having people in our home when I can quit worrying whether they can see the dirt on the floor, whether they think the bathroom is gross, or my decorating scheme needs intervention.  
I mean, this group of kids pictured here, and their wonderful parents - awesome weekend.  The End.
Well, this month has been good practice for me.  Which is good because I'm going to need a lot of practice.
Yeesh, this probably made everyone not want come to our house now, huh?
Well, I did just say that I need practice...

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