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“We build on foundations we did not lay.
We warm ourselves at fires we did not light.
We sit in the shade of trees we did not plant.
We drink from wells we did not dig.
We profit from persons we did not know.
We are ever bound in community."

Rev. Peter Raible (paraphrased from Deuteronomy 6:10-12)



Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Mapping a Life: Hospitality, or Exclusivity?

Who’s in? Who’s out?

Who’s welcomed, who’s not?
Who’s acknowledged and seen? Who’s not?

Hospitality insists that people are not objects or “its.” They are not means to an end. 

Hospitality insists that people are living miracles, children of God, the face of God, if you will. Hospitality is about loving and welcoming the stranger, those different from us.

Hospitality, as opposed to exclusivity, is about a kind of kinship, an authentic, holy engagement with another. It is about casting the circle of welcome and love wider and wider still.
                 
I spoke with a church member earlier this week, and he told me it was his personal practice to connect with folks “who looked lost” in the coffee hour after the service.

He greets them, talks with them, and introduces them to others.
He described the sense of relief they seem to feel, as someone notices, pays attention, and engaging them.

As author Rachel Naomi Remen says, “The places in which we are seen and heard are holy places. They…remind us of our value as human beings.”

Wherever hospitality is practiced is a holy place.
                
And hospitality’s baseline is simply: “Welcome, you belong, you are a child of the Universe, of God.” As Greg Boyle, a Jesuit Priest says, “Our common human hospitality longs to find room for those who are left out. It’s just who we are if allowed to foster something different, something more greatly resembling what God (Love) had in mind.”

That sentiment points us to the Spirit Map, where our natural desire to reach out, to connect with others, to reach out to those who are left out, can blossom!   

Wherever hospitality is practiced is a holy place.

What sacred places are you creating? What new map are you trying to life into?

1 comment:

philontheprairie said...

Wonderful post, Justin! Some great quotes about hospitality. Thanks.