Living in the south, hospitality is just part of growing up...at least it was for me. It seemed like almost every weekend we had people over for dinner or coffee and dessert, and there are so many treasured memories I have from these times. I'm definitely not the most hospitable person but I do try and my goal is that anyone who comes into our home would feel at peace and know they are welcome; part of the family.
I have a dream, it's a big one, a VERY scary one. Do you have these kind of dreams? The kind you dare not tell another soul because then it feels "real"? Maybe you're a blogger and you've written a post about your dream but it sits in your queue, unpublished, because you're afraid. What if people think your dream is silly or completely unrealistic and not possible? That somehow, if you say it out loud or put it online it becomes more real and you're then responsible for fulfilling it? I've been too afraid to even write this post for fear.
I KNOW that I alone cannot accomplish my dream, it's a God sized dream. It would take divine intervention for many reasons: resources, my lack of experience and spiritual gifts. But that's what God does right? He does the impossible! For a few months now I've had this tugging on my heart: how can I help people? What gifts has God provided me with that would enable me to bless those in need? Then it hit me...feed them! This isn't a completely novel idea: my church has a ministry called serve the city and they take meals once a week to a few different neighborhoods, there is a man downtown that feeds the homeless right out of his truck. In fact, just a few weeks ago our pastor gave a sermon on the very topic of my dream and it was like a punch in the gut.
I've mentioned it before, I love to cook and bake. I'm not a professional but I think I can put a decent meal together and I truly LOVE feeding people. Nothing makes my heart more full than to have people around our kitchen table, bellies full, telling me they enjoyed my food. I don't mean that in a "I love praise" kind of way. Actually, I don't really know how to explain it...but I just get a lot of joy from feeding people.
I wish we lived in a world that did not consist of those who were hungry or in need. Instead, everyone had food, shelter, family, etc. Unfortunately, this is not reality. Even in my small community I am sure there are people (we probably see them every day) who are going hungry and would love a nice warm meal and to be welcomed into someone's home.
Then Jesus said to his host, "When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. Luke 14:12 NIV
Cook a meal (once a week) in my home and invite whomever is hungry or in need of a meal and fellowship.
Luke 14:12 is exactly what my dream is!!! How would I start doing this? I have NO idea..that's where God would need to show up because my gift is cooking and showing hospitality, not in organizing people or projects or even funding this venture. If more than a few people came, I would be in trouble. However, I truly believe that God provides. When you're doing His will, His way, all you must do is say, "Yes, Lord." He will take care of the rest...