Hebrews 13:2 - Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.
Close your eyes and remember.
Remember the smells floating from the kitchen.
Remember hearing laughter sailing in from the living room.
Remember the sound of the doorbell.
Touch your face and remember the smile that used to live there.
And parties for just hanging out with friends.
Open your eyes to see the joy in your family’s eyes, but wait. You don’t throw parties anymore. You lost the gift of hospitality and with it the joy washed off your family’s faces.
You used to be good at throwing a party and making the guests laugh as your funny stories went around the table. It was the thing that you did best – making others happy and feeling at home at your place.
But what happened?
Depression crept in and anxiety was hanging on your apron string as well.
At first you thought that you were working too hard and that’s why you felt tired all of the time. The cost of food went up and that’s why you worried about what it would cost to pay for a party. Then the doubts started piling up. Maybe the new recipe you made wasn’t really all that great and the guests were just being kind. After all, no one said how good the food was. Were they ungrateful or had you lost your touch in the kitchen?
So you lost that certain something that used to make you the life of the party. Now, you hardly want to crawl out of bed to make breakfast in the morning.
What do you do when something you used to love became something you dreaded? You started making excuses for canceling dinner invitations. Then you stopped planning parties and marking your calendar. You simply took the calendar off the wall and shoved it in with the pots and pans.
Let’s not forget, also, that hospitality isn’t just about a party at your home. Take a look at the article, “9 Ways to Show Hospitality When Hospitality is Hard,” on IntentionalByGrace.com. The article shows that hospitality goes beyond having people over for dinner to taking your hospitality to their homes. This is especially important to someone new at your job or church. You can do this by inviting them out for lunch, or you could show up at their door with a hot casserole or a fancy cup of coffee. This way you open a door for friendship and it may be that it will also help you have the courage to open up your home to others and find that gift of hospitality once again. And just as the Bible verse above says you never know the person you show hospitality to may be an angel in disguise.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.