Reflection

TIRRC | Empowering Immigrants & Refugees

Reflecting on hospitality, relationship, and community.

TIRRC | Empowering Immigrants & Refugees

Reflecting on hospitality, relationship, and community.


"Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it."

Hebrews 13:2

"What happens when we offer hospitality? We invite someone into a space that offers safety and shelter and put our own needs aside, as everything is focused on the comfort and refreshment of the guest...At its simplest, hospitality is the gift of space, both physical and spiritual...[It] is not to be taken lightly."

~ Margaret Guenther, Holy Listening

 

We frequently conceive of hospitality as favors or work that we do for strangers in their time of need. In reality, hospitality is a grace that we provide because we understand that, as human beings, we are all at times in need. We give because we also have been and will be given to. Hospitality is a “Yes” to the recognition that, in this moment, one or more in our community may need welcome, support, and comfort in a particular way, and I have the honor of being gifted to assist. And at some point, in some way, that person in need will be me.

Maybe we were the parent struggling with groceries and two toddlers, and a stranger in the supermarket offered to help with the groceries so that we could wrangle the children. Possibly we were walking from the bus stop to our home in the wind or rain, and were offered a ride in the warmth and dry of a car from a compassionate spirit. Perhaps were standing in the line at the post office and someone ahead of us caught our weary, exhausted expression and posture, offered a genuine smile and query of, "How are you today?"

Or, as we experience in the TIRRC video, hospitality can be the opportunity to participate in the literal making of room and space, and providing resources and support for those in our communities who are seeking to discover their way in a new place.

Hospitalities can be small or large, and their gift is not what we do for others, but that we accept the invitation to step outside of ourselves and stand with another person in how they are experiencing or impacted by the world. We cannot be hospitable solely from our viewpoint, but must continually seek to grow in knowledge and understanding beyond ourselves. Otherwise, we miss that our community happens with all of us together—our stories, our experiences, our lives, and our mutual caring.

 

Prayer

God, thank you for helping me to hear your call to show up and stand with others. For helping me to see your life, beauty, and strength in others. For enabling me see to myself in others, and others in me. Bless us to love, encourage, and embrace one another as you do each of us. Amen.

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