Thursday, January 15, 2015
Stained Carpets and Clogged Toilet Hospitality
Hospitality is...(according to the yahoo online dictionary)
1. Cordial and generous reception of or disposition toward guests.
2. An instance of cordial and generous treatment of guests.
I've thought a lot about this recently. Over the holidays we welcomed over 60 people into our home between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day...and it was wonderful and exhausting and refreshing and relaxing all in the same. Weird, huh?
Let me tell you though...hospitality has risks...spilled drinks, broken toys, messes to clean up, clogged toilets.....oh wait...speaking of.....
Right before our staff dinner in November (which is about 30 of us with all the kids)...I was freshening up in the master bath...when I flushed the toilet I turned around quickly to retrieve something out of the cabinet that hangs right above the toilet....and when I opened the door....out dropped my deodorant....flying through the air at just the right speed and angle to hit the toilet just as it was flushing and swooped it down the pipe. Are you kidding me???? NO! With ten minutes to spare...Bruce tried everything he knew...hand down the toilet (good thing I had just cleaned it), hanger.....nothing helped.
Now normally this might not be a problem...just wait til the guests leave and call a plumber...but when you live in a 115 year old home....it's a problem. So after a few calls and an estimated 3 trillion dollars or $199 just to look at it...we called a friend...who rescued us....and just 30 minutes later had disconnected our toilet...retrieved the deo....and resealed the toilet to the ground. (I threw away the deodorant just in case you're wondering...and I know you were.)
Ok...so anyway...hospitality can be tricky. But according to the definition above...it's not about how beautifully decorated your home is, or how nice your stuff is, or how good your grub is or even how well behaved your kids are. It has to do with how you treat the people who enter your home. That's hospitality. Now granted...it does help if your toilet's working....LOL.
Hospitality doesn't have to be regulated to your home. What about how people generally feel when in your presence....do they feel welcomed? special? What about at church? Am I welcoming and gracious and cordial? Or do I stay put...snug in "my" seat? I know these are hard questions but they need to be asked.
I've found myself in a rut before of making excuses for why I couldn't welcome people into my home....my carpets are stained, I don't cook good enough, my windows need to be cleaned, my yard isn't landscaped.....blah blah blah.....There's a reason the Lord instructs us to meet together in our homes and to be hospitable. We need the fellowship and the encouragement of belonging....of being welcomed...of extending and receiving grace. (I Peter 4:9, Hebrews 13:2, Romans 12:13, Titus 1:8..and over 80 more verses....Look HERE.
Some of the best hospitality I've ever been exposed to has been impromptu, frozen pizza, single wide trailer, mix matched dishes, red beans and rice nothing too fancy....nothing intimidating....just good friendship and fellowship. And frankly I don't remember if the yard was landscaped or if the carpets were cleaned.
I always always always feel good after we've opened our home....always tired....but always good. It's a pleasure to make the meal...or order the pizza or do potluck....it doesn't really have to be fancy or time consuming. It's how the people feel when they leave. It's how I've treated them. It's how they've been encouraged. It's how they were given grace....to feel at home, to be served, to enjoy fellowship.
Can you think of someone that might need to feel those things? I know I can.