This is day 6 in a 31 day series on hospitality. You can start from the beginning here.
Brave hearts shine with the divine presence; like God they are free, they are welcoming and accepting, they are strong yet gentle. They are wondrously available.
You have all the same excuses I do for not opening yourself to others.
You’re busy. You don’t have the skill set. Their problems are too much. Their life is a mess. Your life is a mess. You’re too impatient. You’re not kind enough. You don’t even like them. You don’t have anything to offer. What does it really matter?
Turns out, in the end, it’s all that really matters.
All that other stuff we spend most of our lives doing—-that’s what doesn’t matter. Trust me, I’m the queen of meaningless minutiae.
But those people that we pass by everyday, that we discard, that we overlook, that we disdain, that we can’t stand, that we don’t get—-those people need us and we need them.
So let’s call the problem what it is.
We are selfish, prejudice, self-centered, arrogant, and desperately afraid.
We are afraid that we’ll be exposed for what we really are. We are afraid of rejection. We fear people who aren’t like us. We are too self-absorbed to be bothered.
And if those are not your barriers to making yourself available to others, you know what yours are. We’re all in the same sinking ship.
But here’s one thing that is true. You can spend your whole life hiding behind possessions and gadgets and busy-ness and fear and you will never know the joy of true relationship.
Yes, it will break your heart. Yes, it will be messy and terrifying. Yes, you will be broken and humbled and changed.
But the alternative is a mediocre loneliness that will eventually smother you to death.
Open your heart and live.
Your willingness to be alive and vulnerable will welcome others to do the same.
When you extend your heart to someone, you are, in bravery, extending them a lifeline.
Be brave. Step into the light. Someone’s life is hanging in the balance. And the irony is—–it may be yours.
quote above from Radical Hospitality by Lonni Collins Pratt
Truth continues to flow from your heart, mind, and fingers as you take us on this journey.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
As you have opened your heart you breathe out life to us – to me.
Oh! Miss Edie-another heart tugging post that causes me to reflect on the attitudes of my own heart and the actions that follow!! Your insight is amazing and you are an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your heart so openly. It is my heart’s cry that I may be able to look beyond my own selfishness and wants to the needs of those God puts in my path daily.
Your words resonate with me at the very core of my heart. God has painfully yet beautifully been showing me that this land of excess we live in threatens are very lives. The real lives we were meant to luve. It separates us from needing each other or from extending a lifeline to our fellow sojournors. All this stuff….it’s rotting and wasting away. Yet why do I continue to keep myself from others, to avoid getting my hands dirty from a life lived together. No, I would rather get lost in my stuff, my projects and myself. Looking forward to reading what you have learned along the way!M
Flower Patch Farmgirl says
Lu-hu-huv this, Edie. You hit the nail on the head. And this: “We’re all in the same sinking ship.” YES!
Julie Ann says
“Open your heart and live!”……all good! 🙂
Claire @ www.alittleclaireification.com says
As always, your post completely humbled me again. Always what I need to hear – perfect timing.
Jesus gives us the secret, “when I was hungry, naked, in prison…..”. He is in every opportunity of hospitality. He is reserving a blessing of partnership with Him for us. We tend to focus on the need of Edie for the reminders and encouragement to be partakers of this richness.
*the other without realizing our need to walk out what He is putting into us every day. Thank you Edie for the reminders and encouragement to be partakers of this richness.
Southern Gal says
The barriers aren’t pretty, are they? This is very humbling. You’ve chosen a great topic.
Our church has gotten complacent and we have been withering on the vine. Last Sunday my hubby, the pastor, received this message through a mystery visitor. We are changing our focus and we are working on hospitality. I am planning to share your amazing words with our leaders as we prepare to change our minds and hearts. Thank you!
Emily A. Clark says
Love this series. (I”m reading yours and the Nester’s!) I’m embarrassed of the some of the excuses I make. Thanks for this.
‘We are selfish, prejudice, self-centered, arrogant, and desperately afraid.’
you nailed it right there, for me at least. and it’s funny, the afraid part, how mostly i fear the five million ways i could fall flat on my face in an excruciatingly public manner. but when it scrapes down to the bones of it, i’d rather look foolish trying to follow God’s lead than miss out on the joy of Him.
the domestic fringe says
So, so much truth. We all need to hear. Thank you for saying and saying it with such love.
thank you for this vital remnder. and thank you for not running from the messiness and walking the valleys with me
i love you friend
Edie, you’ve summarized exactly what’s been on my heart and mind lately. I’ve been convicted about how I tend to serve/give when I can do so behind the scenes and go unnoticed, but I’ve not been good about standing face to face with people and personally reach out to those I may not know. Thanks for putting into words what’s been in my heart. I’ll be reading this again and again!
Diana Furey says
I just assumed I did not have the gift of hospitality. I think that reading this series somewhat frightens me because I must face that there is much lacking in me when it comes to this in my life and to think that God wants me to do something about it is almost overwhelming. Very convicting.
Ouch… spot-on Edie. Thank you, brave woman.
Gina in Louisville says
Diane | An Extraordinary Day says
Preach it sista!! Amen. Amen. Amen.
tara lowry says
i absolutely love that you are connecting hospitality to our availability to others because they are 100% connected.
it starts with our relationship with Jesus, and it flows from our marriages to our parenting to our extended family and friends and yes, to the strangers who cross our paths.
Just found out about your blog thru a friend – and loved it, true, encouraging words.
The text about Hospitality reminds me so much of what we have been studying lately Acts 2:42-46
such a lost virtue these days.
Edie! Write a book! You read so many, but you are a writer, Girl! I don’t get to catch up on reading my favorite blogs very often lately, but when I do…wow oh wow! You take the cake! You are either a preacher (like me) or a writer (like me sometimes) and you have something to say! I know your blog is a great way to share it all. But I can see books in your future, Sweetie!
Amen and Amen!
Victoria in Texas
P.S. And you are kicking me in the butt with this series. Preach on!