True acts of hospitality are infused with the spirit of playfulness. To be playful is to open oneself; to open oneself is to be hospitable.
On a small chalkboard near our dining room I’ve written an adaptation of a Celtic saying that reminds me of this: “Seeing a stranger approach, I would put food and drink before them, music around them. I would look with joy for the blessing of God who often comes to this home in the blessing of a stranger.”
Sharing two hours at the dinner table likely accomplishes more towards making peace than spending eight hours at the negotiating table.
In a book of reflections on the life of St. Aidan, author David Adam says this about being hospitable: “Hospitality is the movement away from hostility. Our relationship with others is a mixture, but it is always moving towards enmity or amity, to being open or closed. Too often and too easily we write people off. This is not the way of the Christ…He is to be met in the other, and if we close the door to another we close it to Him, and we close it on ourselves.” (Adam, David. Flame In My Heart. London: Triangle, 1997. Page 21)
May we be open to others, ready to embrace others in acts of pure hospitality. I invite you to share a meal with a stranger sometime soon.
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