Gastvrijheid: German for Hospitality....Friendship for the Guest!
So, here I am today. My hospitality as I've known it has dissolved into about nothing. It consists of asking you to bring food and please stay overnight, but clean up your room before leaving, including laundry. It includes an offer to enjoy doing whatever you want, because I may be taking a nap or doing nothing somewhere in the house.
Honestly, I don't like this at all. But I'm being reformed and reshaped by a Potter Who knows what I don't know and has plans for me that I'm unaware of and sees soul-work that requires transforming, One Whom I know I can trust.
Henry Nouwen is teaching me what real hospitality is...."the offering of friendship without binding the guest and freedom without leaving the guest....the creation of the friendly empty space where we can reach out to our fellow human beings and invite them to a new relationship....it's not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place...not to bring men and women over to our side, but to offer freedom not disturbed by dividing lines...not to lead our neighbor into a corner where there are no alternatives left, but to open a wide spectrum of options for choice and commitment...not an educated intimidation with good books, good stories, and good works, but the liberation of fearful hearts so that words can find roots and bear ample fruit...an opening of an opportunity to others to find God and their way." (Reaching Out)
My mentor and friend Kay has taught me that to offer hospitality well, one needs to open themselves, not just their homes, to their guests.
Father, I ask for grace to BE a woman of hospitality. May I not merely offer hospitality at my house, whether meager or bountiful. Thank you for this season of transformation. I take Your yoke upon me again today and learn from you Jesus, the One who is gentle and humble in heart, and I find rest for my soul.