Today’s Word: ‘hospitality’ as in… the distance between ‘hospitality’ and ‘hospital’ is rather short. Either way, showing hospitality is providing a place and some space for healing and wholeness, life and aliveness.
I have a friend who returned home, not too long ago, from a two-week stay in the hospital. The particular fragility of my friend’s overall health necessitated a longer stay which provided a unique view into the rhythm of life in this usually bustling health center. Because of the current reality related to the coronavirus, this normally bustling hospital was oddly serine; much quieter, less hectic, far less populated than usual. Let’s just say that the ratio of medical staff to patient was vastly higher than normal.
But then, what’s normal?
Normal seems to have taken the last boat out of the harbor some time ago. Because there were far fewer patients in the hospital, there seemed to be much more hospitality that usual. This is not – please let me be clear, this is not to say that busy hospitals are inhospitable. But there was something about the intentional care – the intense personal care that my friend received in the past two weeks that seemed overwhelmingly hospitable. For that care and those precious caregivers, there is only deep, heartfelt gratitude.
Mother Teresa, reflecting on the gift of hospitality once said,
“People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway. If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway. What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway. Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.”
Leaning into forgiveness, kindness, honesty, creativity, happiness, and doing your best today for the sake of someone else is showing hospitality.