Monday night we were laying on the bed with our 17 year old daughter, talking about the rather typical teen issue of wanting/needing the car, and our conversation went from that to other things. Before I knew it, my words had been harsh, she felt turned away, and the door to her heart and mine closed off from one another. She left with watery eyes, and I turned to Jeff with a heavy mind. He gently welcomed me though I didn't deserve it, invited me to be vulnerable, and shared what I needed to hear. I took the walk down the dark hallway to confess my sin of being inhospitable to my own, to ask Jo's forgiveness and to give mine in return.
It's a good thing to be hospitable to strangers. Hospitality is so much in need in our world that many colleges even offer an online hospitality management degree. Hebrews 13:2 tells us to be hospitable to strangers, and that means working it out by opening our hands and homes OFF line. But true hospitality starts at home, by rolling out the welcome mat with our words and facial expressions and tones to those we live with. We can't invite others to come and be served and encouraged if we don't live Life Off Line that way at home.
And I didn't even get to tell you about the cute signs I use for coffee at parties ... but that's okay. My family knows how the kitchen works, and that's where Hospitality off line starts.
Today's Life Off Line Challenge:
- Do one special thing to prepare to "welcome" your family/roommates home, as a reminder to do so with your heart. Like ... light a candle, make a sign to hang on the door, make some tea/coffee when you normally wouldn't, or be AT the door to greet them. Then invite them into your heart.
- Next time your tongue takes over, stop and consider how you would say the same "content" to a stranger before you speak it to a loved one.