I'm also far enough along in this world to acknowledge that there are certain gifts that I don't posses in any degree. Seriously, imagination is one. That's why (*gasp*) I don't get too much into Harry Potter OR Narnia. It's not in my world, I have no frame of reference with which to make it line up, and I can't picture it. Maybe that's why 'style' seems to be elusive, as well (is stylishness a spiritual gift? I think it could be!) If I haven't already seen it done, I can't/ won't come up with it. For my wardrobe OR my home.
While I am tempted to jaunt off down the long and winding road of all the ways I am NOT gifted, the point of this post is hospitality. I do not consider that to be one of my gifts.
Well, let me rephrase that: Is hospitality ONLY the act of welcoming people into your home? Because that is my question, I guess. It's hard for me to have people over for (at least) 18 different reasons. I do it on rare occasion and do enjoy it but you know people who have that GIFT, don't you? It is not mine.
So I ponder on these scriptures:
Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Romans 12:13
Do I have to have people in my home to share? Is that the only way?
What about this:
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms.1 Peter 4:8-10
If we are to "offer hospitality (AND without grumbling)" and also "use whatever gift I have received to serve others" -- is that a contradiction? What if hospitality isn't my gift?
And, again, I'm asking, by definition is hospitality having people come into your home? Don't get me wrong, I think there is immense value in welcoming fellow Christians into your home for times of fellowship and laughter. But I've mentioned here before that I'm classified as an introvert, which means that being around other people is fatiguing to me. My home is energizing to me. It is my refuge and time to recharge. In my pajamas.
So something that was mentioned in Sunday school a few weeks ago made me think maybe I'm not a complete loser/ failure in this regard. The teacher mentioned hospitality as a trait you carry with you. It wasn't his point at all, and he quickly skipped to another subject, but it made me think about this subject. I can't stand for anyone to feel left out in any manner. I can't stand for anyone to walk into a church building and have no one talk to them. I can't stand for anyone to feel as if everyone around them has been friends forever and they are missing all of the jokes. It is my burden (and by this I simply mean that it is something the Lord has put on my heart) to reach out to the invisibles -- especially in my classroom. Those kids who don't cause problems and do okay but aren't stellar in school. They are in danger of being invisible to a harried teacher of 22. Am I being hospitable when I seek out those folks? The left-out and invisible? Or am I simply trying to justify being a poor and infrequent hostess?
Is hospitality your thing? Where are you hospitable?
(P.S. -- if you were a recent dinner guest in my home, this is NOT a not-so-veiled attempt to garner accolades for my adequate hostessing skills. It's just what I've been thinking.)