I have been learning the value of hospitality. Now that I’m settled and comfortable in my own home, I am becoming keenly aware of the blessings of having an open home.

Photo by celine nadeau

Having an open home makes others feel at home. It’s a desire of mine that whenever someone comes into our home that they feel welcomed and comfortable. Visiting a home that isn’t welcoming is never pleasant. It’s more pleasant when you don’t have to be afraid of breaking anything, making something dirty, or not using the correct pieces of cutlery. My home, I’ve learned, is where not only my husband and I feel comfortable but anyone who comes through our door as well.

Having an open home lets me be myself. Lately Leon and I have taken to inviting people around on the spur of the moment. It’s fun because I generally don’t have a great fancy meal planned, and the house isn’t as clean as it should could be. It shows our guests who we are as individuals and as a couple more honestly. I think it gives more of a family atmosphere, too.

For example, some friends of ours were on their own for lunch on Sunday, so we took the liberty to invite them around. We didn’t have a fancy Sunday roast dinner… instead we had what has become a traditional Sunday lunch in our home—pancakes. The house hadn’t been cleaned since the week before. Did that bother me? Admittedly, I straightened up a bit, but otherwise I wasn’t bothered. We had a lovely time.

Hospitality is an opportunity to show love. Like with friends we invite around on the spur of the moment because we were thinking of them. Or friends who come to stay with us while they’re in Carlisle for work, giving them a safe place to lay their heads at night. Providing breakfast in the morning. Serving a home-cooked meal. Having good conversation and fellowship. Showing an interest in their lives. All of these things show love. And we love to do it.

Photo by tsmall

It’s part of our ministry. While we love to invite friends around, we also have the opportunity to have complete strangers around as well. Well, we’re not exactly inviting people in off the streets. With Carlisle being OM’s international headquarters, there are a lot of people coming and going for work in the office here. We usually take the opportunity quite willingly to host someone either for dinner or for a B & B or both. It’s such a good opportunity to get to know other people within OM, and to stretch my comfort zone a bit. It’s a blessing to serve in this way because I’m not always a part of the OM ministry at the office. Hospitality is one thing I can do to serve!

“And if a stranger dwells with you in your land, you shall not mistreat him. The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as your self; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 19:33-34

Last autumn when Leon and I were on furlough, we travelled a lot to different places in the Midwest. We had to rely on the generosity of friends to open their homes to us. These friends kindly let us make ourselves at home in their homes. Now it’s our turn to open our home to those who need a place to stay and call home for awhile. What a way to serve and give back!