Hospitality has always been part of my life. Whether it has been watching my parents use their home for parties and Bible studies and other events, or having an open invitation families houses of my church in college, or just going to different friends homes throughout life, I've seen the power hospitality has to make someone feel loved, appreciated, welcomed, cared for.
I've seen how hospitality can open doors for wonderful and hard conversations, about this life and the next.
I've seen laughter and tears happen in the safety of hospitality.
Sweet Jesus meets people in the sweet grace of hospitality.
We moved into our own home the first weekend of September. It is a little town home perfect for our family. Is the house itself perfect? Well, no. But it is a home provided by the Lord and perfect for this season. And it is our prayer that the Lord would use it for His fame and glory, that He would use it for whatever His purposes may be in our lives and in the lives of others.
And I'm learning that using our home for God's glory and purposes means it doesn't have to be perfect. By all means, we will definitely take care of our home. We know that it doesn't matter what the bank says, our house is the Lord's. Despite the mortgage, our house is a gift from the Lord. But my type A personality and tendency to always need things clean and organized means I have to learn to invite people into our real lives, our messes, our chaos. I have to fight for true hospitality, not a perfect hospitality.
When we give grace to ourselves to invite people into our homes despite the messes, we actually give grace to others because of the messes. When we allow others to see our lives, our hearts, our homes, we allow relationships to be made on a deeper level. When we put "people above projects" (a phrase from Lysa Terkeurst that I just LOVE) we invite Jesus to work in our own lives and also invite others to see Him.
Hospitality allows people to see and experience grace. The God who came and dwelt among us continues to meet us in our homes. The God who makes our hearts His home, uses our hospitality to draw others, and ourselves, to Him.