November 15 – Hospitality “home” edition, guest

This weekend I traveled to North Carolina to see the opening night of the Upper Room Theatre’s production of Oklahoma. On Friday night I was a guest in the home of the female lead of the show. She had a busy weekend with a show on Friday and Saturday, and an obligation to volunteer on Saturday morning for another organization, yet she made the time and space to host me in her home!

Hospitality is gift I might take for granted because I know so many people, like this woman, who make it a point to welcome others in their home, whether they know them or not! I did not take this night for granted though, because in planning the travel arrangements my traveling companion was told we would not be welcome overnight in another home because I was a stranger to those folks. I would be welcome for a meal, but not overnight. I can certainly understand some might reluctant to host strangers in their home, but this was the first time in my life that I was ever denied hospitality of an overnight stay when it was needed! So, even though this young woman hadn’t met me either she welcomed me into her home with open arms. And, made a delicious gluten-free breakfast the next morning as a wonderful surprise!

I think being turned away from that other home made me appreciate her hospitality even more than I would have normally. It also makes me realize how blessed I am that I’ve never been denied a place to stay before! Even when driving to Colorado a few years ago and staying with the friend of a friend, I’m blessed to know a lot of folks who actively practice radical hospitality in their home. Thanks be to God who encourages us to welcome the stranger, whether for a meal or a place to stay, and thanks to all those who make it a point to practice hospitality!

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