We love having people in our home. It’s easy to invite friends, family, neighbors, people we know or want to get to know better.
But what about total strangers?
When an Orange Conference organizer sent out en e-mail to the staff a few months ago asking if anyone was willing to host people in their homes during the conference, I immediately replied with a “yes”.
In approximately 32 minutes, two women from a church in California that Pricelined their way here, are volunteering at the conference in order to gain free admission, and didn’t have budget for a hotel room will show up at our house. And stay here until Saturday. Today is Tuesday.
Gulp. I’m tempted to Google “the art of repartee” or “good questions to ask total strangers you’ve never met before that are from somewhere you’ve never been and will be hanging out with you and your four kids and eating dinner with you tonight and living in your house until Saturday”.
Romans 12:13, says to “Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” I’m relieved that the Bible doesn’t instruct me to “purvey perfection when having people in your home”.
A friend recently reminded me that hospitality is not supposed to be me focusing on how I present myself, not trying to impress people with my curtains or bedazzle them with my outfits. But rather hospitality is about taking the focus off of me and caring for them. Making them feel important and at ease. Welcome and wanted.
These church ladies have made a looong journey to come to a conference that will help bolster their faith, strengthen their serving muscles, and encourage their ministry. They are God’s people. They are in need o
f a place to sleep at night. I have been blessed with a house and extra beds.
The ladies are sleeping in a room that doesn’t have paint on the walls, with sheets and pillow cases that don’t match each other, there is no blow dryer attached to the wall in the bathroom and no TV in their room. They will be sharing a house with four children. There is no room service.
As Dan and I made the guests’ beds up, I said, “you’ve slept in worse places than this, right?” He laughed and replied, “OHHHHH yes, I’ve slept in MUCH WORSE places than this. Trust me.”
So although it’s not luxurious, it’s not a hovel, either. What matters is that I stop fretting about the barren walls and flutter about these making sure these two weary sisters have everything they need for a successful night’s sleep.
Because it’s NOT ABOUT ME.