True hospitality isn’t about inviting people into your perfect home;  it’s about inviting them into your imperfect heart.

guest room2

I was so blessed this weekend to have some wonderful friends come to visit.  Darlene and her beautiful family, including her newest little addition, Georgia Lu, came for a quick visit for breakfast.  I had just begun getting my house ready for Christmas, so I was in that awesome state of pumpkins on the porch and fresh Christmas greens in the house.  I so wanted to get my house a little more festive, but Advent has me all conflicted—wanting to go slow and wait and savor every minute.  So, I left the pumpkins on the porch and tried not to apologize. I can get so wrapped up in making sure everything is “perfect” that I forget about what’s really important. This post is a reminder mostly to me.  Hope it helps you remember, too.


Wanna know what guests really need from you when they come to your house to visit?

Sure, they’d like a comfortable place to sleep, a pretty little room with a desk, some chocolates, fresh water to drink,  a comfortable pillow, a lamp for night time reading, and maybe even a few of the latest magazines.  If there’s time and energy, they’d be tickled if you cooked them some good food and made a batch of mimosas.  But all that is in vain if you don’t give them the one thing they really came for—you.

We have a million reasons why we don’t fully give ourselves to others.  We hold back.  We try to impress.  We judge and we worry that they’re judging, too.  We don’t think our house is good enough or we think it’s too good.  We fear that we are too much and not enough.  We keep our hearts and our doors locked up tight because we have failed to see the image of God in the eyes of every single person we meet. We hide behind screens and jobs and inflated self-importance. We hide behind all kinds of things that seem important.

But, these relationships where we live our lives are holy ground.  When we are in the presence of others, we are in the presence of Christ himself.

And if we will open our hearts to others, we will never be the same—–because true hospitality is transforming. 

It is an openness to know and love our neighbor that can only come from Love incarnate—- from the One who so wanted to know us that He crawled into our skin and became a man.  The one who so loved us that He drug Himself, half-dead to a cross to die for us. His hospitality toward us wasn’t an afterthought or a means to impress others. His hospitality was dangerous.

Holy ground always is.

But He came right into our mess and broke down every barrier to get to us.

He gave no thought to what it would cost Him.

Yet, we spend our entire lives building those walls back in a desperate effort to protect ourselves, to hide our secret sins, and to guard ourselves from heartache.  May He tear it all down and expose us and make us vulnerable.  May He jar us awake from our selfish slumber so that we learn to see His children through His eyes and may He forgive us for every time we fail.

Invite others into your life and learn to  see them with eyes of Mercy.   Treat them with honor—not for who they are, but for whose they are.



an edited excerpt from my Hospitality ebook

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20 comments on “What People Really Need From You”

  1. Thank you Edie – I love to read whatever you write – you have such a big heart, and God inspired wisdom. I have been reading a lot about being a hostess that is a servant and not making our hospitality a platform for compliments and praise for the hostess. I vow to approach my hosting with a humble approach, not perfection, so as not to create some wow factor that honors me. Hope that makes sense. One point I would add to your post is that I believe Christ puts people in our life for a reason and that we should take time for them because God wants us to. There’s a reason they are there. As I say this I look around my workplace and realize God put everyone here in my path too….God Bless you and please, please continue on!

  2. It is so fun when I have time to do all the little extra bits … but time with people is always perfect … even when I don’t. That baby … we are expecting our first grandbaby and this picture reminds me of what joy it will bring.


  3. I love this. It is very true. I think that we all really want to be transparent but we are afraid. You have encouraged us to not be afraid, to just be ourselves without fear.
    Sometimes it’s hard. We want to be liked, we want approval. Thankfully, in Christ, we have that approval. Thanks for the reminder.

  4. always being reminded of the truth of hospitality…the giving of myself to others…the sharing of my story and the warm invitation to have others share their stories with us.

    write a book on this for us, okay?!

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