Staying with the theme of hospitality, I came upon an interesting and provoking thought from Henri Nouwen. (Nouwen was a Dutch Catholic priest, internationally respected author, professor and beloved pastor who wrote 39 books on the spiritual life. His interests were rooted primarily in psychology, pastoral ministry, spirituality, social justice and community.) Nouwen writes, “Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place. It is not to bring men and women over to our side, but to offer freedom not disturbed by dividing lines. It is not to lead our neighbor into a corner where there are no alternatives left, but to open a wide spectrum of options for choice and commitment. It is not an educated intimidation with good books, good stories and good works, but the liberation of fearful hearts so that words can find roots and bear simple fruit. It is not a method of making our God and our way into the criteria of happiness, but the opening of an opportunity to others to find their God and their way. The paradox of hospitality is that it wants to create emptiness, not a fearful emptiness, but a friendly emptiness where strangers can enter and discover themselves as created free; free to sing their own songs, speak their own languages, dance their own dances.”
Scripture Reading: 3 John 1:5
“Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the brothers and sisters, even though they are strangers to you;”
How do you help transform a fearful heart?
What does a “friendly emptiness” mean to you?
Who helped you find your way to God?
Prayer: Holy God, today let me walk in mercy and do for others what may lead them to you. Attach me to your foundation and let me bear much fruit. Amen.