Monday, August 29, 2011

Lately I have been thinking alot about the act of true hospitality.  So many people in my life have influenced my concepts of hospitality.  I am so thankful for all I have learned from family and friends, in many real life lessons, the true concepts of what it means to be hospitable.  I have books that I have scoured on the subject and have learned much from what was in their pages, but my most valuable lessons came from actions I saw lived out, in my own life, and quite honestly, I think that I could recount each one of them in detail to you, if there was time, because they made an impact on my life.

"Hospitality is a gift.  It is a gift that says to the person to whom it is given, "I care about you."
~ It is tiny dishes of ice cream to a young child, unexpectedly offered to them, when they were hot and tired.  I personally was present when this gesture was made, and to this day, I marvel at this woman's kindness.

~ "Hospitality" is an unexpected tray of ice water offered to you, when you are in the midst of wedding photography sessions on a hot, summer day.  Again, it is shared by someone who cares deeply, and recognized a need.  I sure do admire those who just seem to always see a need and jump to meet it.  How refreshing it is to be around that type of personality.

"Hospitality" is when you have eaten all of your cookie, and the cute little girl beside you, shares the rest of her cookie with you.  A rare moment I might add...but truly hospitality at it's finest.

~  I am not sure this precious picture fits into this category of "hospitality", but it certainly did warm my heart to watch this little one giving the eager goat, her handful of feed.

~  "Hospitality" can take place anywhere and on any occasion.  In the midst of a hot, evening playtime, when one's mother graciously supplies a big container of iced cold lemonade.  Lots of little thirsts were relieved by this act of kindness.  After all her day held on this particular day, if I would have been her, I would have been curled up in the hammock from exhaustion.  Not her, she was serving everyone in her sight.

"Whether hospitality is extended to one's family or to other guests, at the core of good hospitality is how much you offer healing to the wounded spirit, encouragement along a difficult path, and hope where hope has long disappeared.  Food, atmosphere, and even material gifts of clothing and money are just useless tools until they are ignited by the love spoken of in 1 Cor. 13:3, which declares;  "If I gave everything I have to poor people...but didn't love others, it would be of no value whatever."~Elizabeth R. Skoglund

"Hospitality" is always a gift that we offer others, and it always says, "I care about you." 

Yes, there are times in life, when one might want to offer a touch of elegance to someone's day, but mostly hospitality shows itself in so many small, thoughtful, caring, and unexpected ways, and most always blesses those on the receiving end.

As I watched the devastation of natural disasters on the television screen, over the years, I have observed on a first hand basis, acts of caring hospitality shared with many of those most needing the love and care.  In fact, today I observed on the television, an American Red Cross worker, offering a gift of hospitality to one who suffered losses, during Hurricane Irene's revenge. 

I want to be reminded daily, "that the smallest deed is better than the grandest intention."


Judy said...

I love this post, Judy! I'm coming back later to copy out a few of your quotes...since I'm in the middle of preparing a talk about hospitality. Thanks for being so 'hospitable' right here on your blog...for giving hope and encouragement to those who stop by. It's a gift!

Stacey said...

Such a wonderful post Judy. :)

Melinda said...

Great post!
I think hospitality can go beyond food and drink. It can be a hug on a bad day, a reassuring squeeze on the shoulder etc.

Have a great evening.


Debbie said...

Loved the post, and especially the little quote at the end. WoW! What impact in a few words! Thank you friend!

Christine said...

I older I get, the more I think about Hospitality.
Like you said, it's about serving, above and beyond.
I too, like the quote.

lindsey said...

I agree, there are so many people in my life too that are just great at showing hospitality...we are blessed as I am sure you too are a blessing to those around you :)

Anneliese said...

These are beautiful and encouraging thoughts . . . so well expressed.

debi said...

I always feel as though we are all invited in to your life and you are the bestest hostess!


corners of my life said...

I love your snipets of other's hospitality but I know you could fill a blog post with your generous acts of kindness.

a woman who is said...

Lovely post Judy...I was just catching up on your blog and came across this post.


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