Recently, I wrote a guest post on Fr. Anthony Messeh’s blog, entitled “Did We Lose Our Way?” After some serious soul searching, I felt God really opening my eyes to seeing some dark things in my heart. Revealing how I stopped loving others.
Thank God for His Grace to shine His light in my heart to change me.
In God’s great love, He did not stop revealing the things in my heart.
After almost 10 years living in Zambia, I finally renovated my kitchen. If you ever visited me, you know my kitchen only has a table and a small counter with which to prepare our meals. Because there were two cabinets, most of my food, appliances and other things were just on the floor or on the very tops of the cabinets. It was quite a mess. I now have a functional kitchen with lots of cabinets and two huge countertops. This may not sound like a big deal but it makes life a lot easier. I did not want something luxurious – just something practical so we can continue showing hospitality.
But, wait, God revealed something to me. Since renovating my kitchen, I haven’t invited over a single soul! Didn’t I want the kitchen practical and easy to use so that I can invite more people? Serve more? Continue having baking days with the neighborhood children? Invite those that cannot invite me? Reach out to the lost and lonely and make them feel that they have a home? Invite missionaries that have sacrificed a lot of time and money to serve with us? Make smoothies and popsicles with my children?
Thanksgiving came and went and was forgotten in my newly renovated kitchen.
When my kitchen was small and not functional, it functioned perfectly.
What functioned in the past was my heart. Not my kitchen. My heart was ready to reach out to love.
Did we lose our way? I wrote in my guest post that we lost our way in our churches by not loving those that need it the most. But, I think also too our homes are an extension of our churches. When we open our hearts to others, our homes are naturally opened up as well.
This holiday season is just the perfect time to do just that. Open our hearts. Open our homes. We don’t need the perfect house. The perfect kitchen. The perfect children. Just only the perfect God. His perfect heart. His perfect hands and feet.
I once read a blog post that said, “True hospitality is when your guests leave your home feeling better about themselves, not feeling better about you.”
But I would argue a step further that true hospitality is when our guests leave our churches and leave our homes feeling better about God. Wanting to desire Him more.
In Genesis chapter 24, Abraham’s servant searches for a bride for Isaac. When he met Rebekah, she was at the well. Her well was her home. Her church.
She welcomed the stranger. She gave him water to drink. Not only that, she offered of her own free will to draw more water and give his camels to drink as well (verse 19). She not only did it, but she did it quickly (verse 20).
All she had was a bucket.
She did not have a fully renovated kitchen. She did not have a beautiful house.
Only a bucket. And a well.
Her heart was quickly ready to serve her God. To love others. To love strangers. Even his dirty, smelly animals.
And the servant of Abraham concluded from Rebekah’s beautiful hospitality, “Blessed be the Lord God of my master Abraham” (verse 27).
May others call our Lord blessed when they come to our churches. And our homes.
Let’s Chat: This holiday season, how will you open your heart and home to others?