A heart that welcomes, a spirit that invites and a life that is interruptible. There’s a cost to this way of living. This life that I want for our family. The giving, the receiving, the welcoming, the growing, the pouring out, the getting filled. And I want more of it….but I don’t want to do what it takes to have more. Because the hospitable life bears a cross. There’s a dying of old ways and expectations that make room in your heart and home for Jesus. For others. For love. For Grace.
It’s not easy, this dying. This surrendering of what you know in order to embrace what God is putting before you.
But his ways are better than our ways. His thoughts, higher. His purposes are for his glory, not our gain. His will is for his Kingdom, not this Earth. And it’s good! Because He is good.
So I walk with him up the hill today. This good day. And I see the cross for what it really is. Not a place of death, but a way for living. A way for following Jesus to the abundant life promised to those who believe. For those who will receive.
Cross shaped hospitality looks different in all people. Because we each have different things we cling to. Different idols we worship. Different things that must die in us to truly live the hospitable life.
I share with you my experience. Maybe you can relate.
Death of perfection. Because a living, breathing environment comes with dirt, broken glass, and dirty corners of the house, of the heart. This looks like messy floors from all the entering. Little girl dresses covered in mud because playtime finally got creative. Fingerprints on the windows from the children observing the birds on the feeder. Orange dirt staining your heart. Mistakes happening without shame. The unclean being welcomed. And it’s good.
Death of personal social intentions. Because my purpose is community. Because my life isn’t about me. This looks like noticing people who need to be noticed. Intentional gatherings over pointless parties. Less small talk and more honest conversation. Less Christian and more world. This looks like schooling at home. Evenings spent as a family. Missing people I don’t see very often. And it’s good.
Death of some long standing traditions. Because life is too short to spend time and money on holidays and activities that don’t move our family toward each other and Jesus. This looks like less fuss and more focus. Less spending and more engaging. Less adornment and more worship. And it’s good.
Death of safety. Because following Jesus is risky. Because everything we do to keep safe is a false sense of security anyway. This looks like saying yes when I have no idea how it will end. Exposing my children to broken realities beyond their own experience. Opening my doors to people I don’t trust. Breaking engrained rules of responsible living and parenting. And it’s good.
Death of boundaries. Not all of them, but many. Because to receive people, walls must come down. This looks like inclusion rather than exclusion. Sharing resources. Opening my doors when all I want to do is pull the blinds and hide. Sleeping less because they stay late. Feeling taken advantage of by those who don’t give back. Realizing that I don’t love as pure as I wish I did. Recognizing I have biases that dictate how I relate.
These are what I continually must die to in order for God to resurrect hospitality in my heart and home. Some days I surrender with joy. Some days I do it out of obedience. And some days I hate it and choose otherwise.
I’m still learning how to die to me and live for him.
Thankful for the cross and the way it shapes who I am and how I live.