Wednesday, December 10, 2008

On Hospitality

"5) I commit to making our house a house of true hospitality. I will strive to make our house welcome to all. This means I will do all I can to serve our guests and our members by keeping the house clean, daily dish washing, cooking, providing meals and shelter, as well as creating welcoming conversations and activities, etc." Romans 12:13

When I first heard about The House Famous I thought that it would be a lot different than it is now. I had this image in my mind, somewhat similar to the later half of the movie “Fight Club”. I envisioned homeless people coming in and out. Everything being a mess, people talking everywhere, laughing and joking abounding, and just having general chaos everywhere.

Having moved in, I have found (with mixed feelings) that this is in fact, incorrect. People move around a lot, but it’s not as chaotic, nor as full as I originally thought it would be. We don’t have homeless folk and friends coming in and out at all hours of the day, and it’s not really like the last part of Fight Club.

This may seem like I’m going on about a very simple revelation but I’m actually going somewhere with this. What I found after living here for a while, is that things seem to go in stages. We generally work with one homeless or needy friend at a time. We spend some time getting to know one friend, we invite them over, and they spend some time with us. Then sometimes that’s where it stops, and sometimes it continues.

But right now, we’re still in that first stage. We have a homeless friend that we’ve spent some time getting to know, and now he trusts us enough to come over and visit us every evening. Almost every night, just after supper, a knock comes at the door and we hear our friends voice of greeting. He comes in, removes his coat and shoes, and takes a seat in our living room. We offer him food or drink, and he usually asks us for a glass of orange juice. After drinking his juice we spend some time asking him about his day and how things are going. In the course of our conversation he usually tells us some amazing facts about things like serial killers, or a story about how Dan Akroyd (“Dan”) nearly ran him over with a car. We all laugh along and enjoy his stories and his company. Then when he feels he’s stayed long enough he’ll remark “Well, I better go” and then he’ll get up, put his coat back on and head back outside.

This isn’t what I was expecting, but regardless of my expectations, whenever our friend leaves, I feel as if in some way Jesus has just left our home.

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