Growing up in Lebanon , I heard this term frequently and saw it in action daily.
Maybe it was back then a word that reflects having a opened house for meals or as a safe refuge during war time. There wasn’t a weekend without having a house loaded with either family members or friends gathered around a meal and lots of laughter.
Then I grew up realizing that hospitality embraces way more than having people over for lunch or dinner.
By definition, hospitality is defined as “the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors or strangers”. That by itself takes it to a different level.
When my husband and I arrived to the States 18 years ago, we got embraced by several generous and loving hearts welcoming us in their life and treating us like family when we’re far away from ours. Throughout the years, and with our own family growing, our house became an open house for friends and family members visiting not for just a meal but for days and weeks. Kids grew up knowing that when family travel from abroad , they are automatically welcomed and stayed for a while and they become part of our crazy busy life.
They learned that giving up their own bedrooms is a hospitality gesture.
They also learned that sharing our own traditions and material items is another way of a generous hospitality.
Maybe hospitality is more than sharing material stuff, maybe it’s a way of sharing your own soul, loving unconditionally without expecting similar treatments since no everyone is given the same gifts. Maybe it’s a way of giving of your own time when you struggle scrambling your work, school, activities and life schedule.
If the initial definition of hospitality is having an open house and entertaining your guests, I believe with this era of busy and overwhelming lifestyle, hospitality becomes having an open heart, ears and mind to welcome and be the landing hand for your guests.
I read not too long ago that when you give of your time when you’re struggling, that’s love in a different shape since you’re giving a part of you that won’t come back. Would that be counted as having a greeting and welcoming place? Can Hospitality be a mobile concept and not just limited to a decorated and warm house but travels with each one of us to work, office, schools, even games….It sure can be “feeling home in your presence”.
“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily , as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance : for ye serve the Lord Christ” Colossians 3:23-24