Loving Thy Neighbor Through Hospitality

I come from a very inhospitable family. It’s actually pretty funny, when people ring the doorbell, we don’t answer the door unless they call first. There have been a few instances when my aunt or grandma stop by because they’re in our neck of the woods but don’t call first. They will ring the doorbell two or three times, to no avail. Then return to their cars to call us and say it’s them at the door. More than one I’ve had people I work with tell me they are going to come to my house for various reasons. One time in particular, my former boss said, “Your mom loves me, she’ll answer the door.” To which I said, “I dare you to come to my house without calling first.” No one would have answered the door, no matter what the weather, or the situation. We usually don’t even look through the peephole to see who it is. It could be my best friend after just being stabbed with blood dripping down their face, we would never know.

On the one hand this is a little amusing, but hospitality is a virtue! I think we aren’t hospitable because my father is antisocial only child and my mother is a Law and Order Lifetime Movie Network paranoid middle child. My brother and I were just raised in the madness.

When I grow up (I’m 25) I’d like to be more friendly and welcoming. I love to cook and bake and be domestic. I’m hoping to one day have a nice home my family and friends (only) will feel comfortable just stopping by for a cup of tea. There was one day when we were feeling particularly friendly when my aunt came by and I felt so good after.

She was on our side of town (I call it a town, but it’s a large city) running errands and thought she’d pop by to say hi. I had just finished making a lovely dinner and told her she should come in and have a bite with us. We don’t typically eat in the dining room on weekdays, but since we had company we set the table and had a lovely time sitting and talking. I packed her a little doggy bag to take to my uncle and it was a special evening that I keep with me.

Living a virtuous life can do wonders for the soul and the mind. One of the most fascinating things I found when I decided to focus my life on Christ was I felt more joyful. It feels good to serve your neighbor, to be welcoming and hospitable. And that feeling comes with all of the virtues.

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