I really suck at this whole hospitality thing. Let me explain...
I can clean my home daily, do the dishes, have a bed made up for guests. But here's the kicker...
I only seem to really care about people I know being in my house. But you talk about a stranger or person I have never met before in my home then that's game over. Nope, I can't do it.
My heart isn't fully in it and thanks to Crime Junkie I'm always on the ready to spring into action to save myself.
But I still consider myself a good person, good friend, I'm an alright Christian if you want to put a scale on it. At least that's what I thought.
I can give money to charities helping the oppressed or donate my time or help on the sidelines. I even went to Africa and loved on orphans and the homeless and villagers. But that means nothing if I just focus on people far far away. And if I only do it for myself.
Yes, people in Africa might have loved having strangers to play and sing with. But what about my neighbors? What about the people down the road struggling to stay afloat? What about the woman on the street corner holding a sign saying, "anything helps" or "God bless"?
I suck at hospitality. I easily walk by people on the street and look down at my phone and pretend to be busy. Too busy to make eye contact or smile.
Also, did you know that it's actually more dangerous to look down at your phone and have headphones in while walking than it is to be aware and responsive?
But what if we went beyond our "social norms"? Beyond our social class and friend groups and followers?
Maybe it's a dollar you keep in your glove box for those instances you are stopped at a traffic light and there is a man on the side of the road? Maybe it's just saying 'Hi". Or maybe it's taking a human being into your home to share a warm meal with.
I'm not there yet. I admit. I excel in "stranger danger" and I am ready for the worst.
I was told that I needed to have more faith in humanity... Of course, I retaliated and gave so many accounts of people who have been robbed or killed for just trying to help someone. I do not hand out trust easily.
But I still go through the motions of being a good person, friend, daughter, and an ok sister. But with every spoken word, there needs to be action.
Money is great, people always need money. But it can also be a hindrance. Even when we have enough to pay our bills and get things for others and something for ourselves on the side. Money is still a hindrance when you think it's all there is to make life move along easier or it's the only way to have all you want in life.
I suck at sharing. I can preach the heck out of Jesus' commandments to us to love one another as He loves and to give and love the poor, sick, widowed, orphaned. I'm a great public speaker. But I suck at being a public servant.
We have moments of kindness. We have more moments of kindness when it is convenient for us. Which is great! A little can go a long way. But where I need to work on is being gracious to others when it's the least convenient.
There's a Christmas song that goes;
"So don't save it all for Christmas day. Find a way to give a little love everyday. Don't save it all for Christmas Day. Find your way 'cause holidays have come and gone but love lives on." -Don't Save it all for Christmas Day, Celine Dion.
And I don't know about you but I tend to do a lot more giving when it's a giving holiday. Maybe because people hype that up so much. But what about the other 11 months of the year?
I'm challenging myself to smile genuinely to at least one new person a day. And also start working on not jumping to conclusions whenever I see someone on the side of the road. We don't know where they use their money. But like my momma always told me growing up whenever she would take a dollar out of her pocket for the sole purpose of giving it away, "It's not our money, it's God's money. And I know what it's like to really need."
I suck at hospitality. But maybe we can work as a team to encourage one another to keep trying, to keep loving, to keep trusting that God's got our backs and He has theirs.