I found this book back when my husband and I first went into the ministry, and I thoroughly devoured it then and have referred to it many times throughout the years. I believe I even taught a class to a group of women in our church at one time, hoping to encourage them to participate in a ministry of hospitality. (It didn't work). Why didn't it work? Because like the women Mrs. Hall described in her book, most women thirty years ago...and still today...have the mistaken idea that practicing hospitality is a "gift", and that they don't have that particular "gift". But according to God's Word, hospitality is not listed as a spiritual gift, but as a command. (see Romans 12:9-13)
We all use similar excuses, and I am guilty of the same:
- The house is dirty
- I have to work
- I'm too tired
- We are just too busy
- I can't afford to have company
- Maybe after I get this done...or fix that, or my house is perfect...
- No one would want to come all the way out here to my house...
- I don't have room
- That's not my gift
Now that we have moved to a larger house...even though it is way out in the woods, I am looking forward to many such occasions of laughter and joy and true fellowship with loved ones and friends...and maybe a few strangers (angels?) mixed in. We've already had a few such gatherings, and yes, it was a lot of work...but I love how people always pitch in and help by bringing food, setting the table, washing the dishes, and generally cleaning up. I also love how they linger a while and visit, and how they love to come in the kitchen with me while I'm getting things ready or putting things away...and how they enjoy walking around and looking at the flora and fauna outdoors, or admiring the little things that make our home special to us.
Our home is not magnificent or fancy...some may even think it a bit "campy", but it is comfortable and homey...and there is a lot of love and laughter here to pass around. I hope that someday perhaps you will come, and to quote Vivian Anderson Hall,
"Be My Guest"
|Be My Guest, written by Vivian Anderson Hall,|
published in 1979 by The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, ILL