Monday, 26 December 2016

LET'S TALK HOSPITALITY





Just recently I was invited to a friend's home. I came home feeling sad and I had to work out why. I reflected on the visit and realised that my friend just wasn't a people person- she was more interested in things than people. It started at the front door just under the "Welcome Friends" sign- another sign demanding that I remove my shoes. OK I thought, as I took them off, I don't want to trample any dirt inside- I can live with that!

I was greeted by my friend who I noted had already checked that I was in stocking feet. She ushered me into the immaculate kitchen which smelt slightly of bleach. (I must confess I was hoping to smell cake or coffee though) We exchanged greetings, launched into some conversation whilst she wiped her shining sink, shaking her dishcloth in her hand as she emphasised a point in the conversation. After my friend made a drink for us, I started to relax- until she started wiping up around me. It was hard to make eye contact with her as she was washing the cups and wiping round her white kettle. But I guess the clincher came when I had finished using her bathroom. She went in after me, wiping down the few drops of water on the hand basin and straightening her embroidered towels.

I started to feel unwanted and decided to make tracks for home. But before that, I was taken for a grand tour of her spotless home- which was indeed not lacking any thing- except the love and friendship shown through hospitality. As I pondered on these things, I resolved that our next visit would be at my home.

She could take her shoes off if she wishes, I will have a cake waiting for her and I will give her my full attention whilst I serve her coffee in my lived-in lounge room. She can leave a few drops of water in the hand basin after she uses my bathroom and if she wishes she can have a look at my home- beds pulled up hastily, cushions squashed slightly from where we sat on the couch, cups waiting on the sink counter to be washed after she left and most of all- a feeling that she mattered more than my things do to me. Isn't that what it's all about after all?

Hospitality doesn't die through imperfect housekeeping but cannot exist in sterile surroundings lacking love and friendship. My friend's heart was choked with things and far from me.. I resolve to never be like that. I relaxed and started to plan our next visit as I sought out my cookery book. She likes banana cake I recall.

© Glenys Robyn Hicks


"For as he thinketh in his heart, so [is] he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart [is] not with thee." Proverbs 23:7

6 comments:

  1. It's amazing what you can learn about hospitality by watching other people. I was very much an introvert and not well versed at hosting people when I first got married. A few years into it, we made friends with an older farming couple at our church. She didn't have a spotless house, but we felt so welcome. I think we all have ideas about hosting in our mind. Some of it is based on our upbringing. Maybe your friend was brought up in a really messy house and always embarrassed when people came over. Whatever the reason, perhaps like me she needs to be shown how to be a better hostess.

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  2. Hi Rachel. Thinking about this friend, I believe she may have OCD. She is meticulous about small detail and keeps to a strict timetable. Also, she is definitely lacking in people skills... very materialistic and a harsh task master with her children. She actually is a close family member, so I know her well. I used her as an example to try to reach the younger women in focusing on making relationship more important than things... She has been brought up in a clean home and as I know her mother, I can say with certainty that she has seen the other side of hospitality, such as your older farming couple showed... People are complex aren't they? I do agree that people need to be shown hospitality through example... Thanks so much for commenting today...

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  3. Oh Glynnis, I'm glad you still want to reach out to her. There could be many reasons why she did this. Hugs to you!

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    1. Hi Laura. I wrote about her as an example of being a people person, instead of materialistic and to encourage our younger Sisters in the dying art of hospitality.. I believe we are called to be hospitable people... I realise the post may sound that I am judging her harshly, but that is not the case. I have seen her often and look forward to doing so in the future.. Thanks for commenting today..

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  4. I'd love to be welcomed into you home!

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    1. I would love to have you! Blessings, Glenys

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