Monday, July 10, 2017

A Loaner, a Cabin, a Call from the Game Warden and Hospitality

It's hard to define hospitality. It does mean a "warm greeting," in other words a handshake or neck hug. But, when it comes to God's definition, it's beyond the handshake. Here's what I think, Biblically, it is. It's seeing someone with a need, possessing what it takes to meet that need, and then meeting that need with a generous heart. It's all that, because that's what Jesus did for each of us. He saw our need. Had what it took to meet our need. Then He met our need because He loved us. I'm going to spend this week talking about times others have practiced hospitality toward me and my family. Maybe that will help define how I can be hospitable to others.

I was out of state with my son. My wife and daughter totaled a car. A Christian friend in that town showed up at the wreck sight, helped them through the process, made sure they were ok, and then gave them a spare car he had so they could continue on their trip.

Friends owned a beautiful vacation cabin in the mountains. We could never afford a place like that. We really couldn't even afford to go on a vacation, except to stay with friends. The people with the cabin made it available to us whenever we wanted to go and take a retreat from ministry. The picture above is my son fishing on the river where the cabin was located.

In our first church, we were nearly starving in ministry. A local game warden used to bring us animals he had confiscated, both for us and to give away to people worse off than we were in our church and community. Sometimes it was the only meat we had for weeks.