Greeting one another as if they were a long missed friend. It is welcoming a stranger with open arms and no bias. It is accepting people where they are at. It is not sticking a fake smile on your face but it is being real and vulnerable with one another. It is allowing yourself to create one more spot in your life for someone else. It is showing a near stranger around a new city so she can feel a little more at home.
Hospitality is opening up your home to someone who you have just met to serve them a hot dinner so they feel like part of the family. It is offering a lift to someone who you might have just encountered at church and who said they were new in town. It is leaving a space for them at the dinner table. It is looking at them as an equal yet extending grace for the learning curve.
Hospitality is loving unconditionally. It is putting up a sacrifice of your own for someone’s comfort. It is explaining inside jokes so the visitor can be on the inside too. It is not exclusive. It is offering up the chances for new experiences for a newcomer. It is open arms greeting at the front door of a church giving you a hug even though they don’t know your name. It is real and raw questions not for prying but for the most genuine opportunity to get to know the person.
Hospitality is the welcoming and comfort of new people as to make them feel wanted. It is fulfilling the inherent need we all have to be wanted by someone or something. It is the physical expression of God wanting us. It is how we can let others feel wanted and loved just as their Heavenly Father wants and loves them and us.
Here in Ireland instead of “we are happy you’re here” it is “you are very welcome”. That welcome is not forgotten as I continue onto week 2 of this journey.