Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Snapshot 9: Hospitality

I don't know that American English deserves to have this word in our language: Hospitality. I have known Americans who practice hospitality, some more than others. I am positive I have not usually been among them.

I don't think we know half what it means.

Congolese Hospitality (and African Hospitality in general), on the other hand, is rich with depth.
(All these things I have seen or experienced recently.)

Congolese Hospitality welcomes you to eat at the table any time, any day. No reservations desired.

Congolese Hospitality sees that you may have cold feet and lends you slippers so you can go to the cold tiled floor of the toilet without getting too cold.

Congolese Hospitality lends you matching clothes, so you will look good at that choir performance.

Congolese Hospitality takes in that widowed cousin with her two fatherless children to make sure they belong to a family, have a roof over their heads and can pay for a decent education. They may stay 1 year, they may stay 10. They are family.

Congolese Hospitality loves it when you arrive unannounced at the back door.

Congolese Hospitality is not offended when you need a favor.

Congolese Hospitality walks you halfway home.

Oh that we would learn the depth, the breadth, the importance of
'Consider others better than yourself"

Make room for those in your midst.

Seek to meet needs.

(Self-sufficiency is a lie.)

Share life,

not just the pretty parts.

True Hospitality.


Brittany Martin said...

Thanks, Kim. I'm doing a study on hospitality with the ladies at my church and I shared your blog post with them!

Anonymous said...

So true. All too often we confuse hospitality with entertaining. We've recently been talking about that verse 'Consider others better than yourself.' This is a pure and perfect example. Thanks so much for sharing.

Auntie Shell said...

This is an amazing post... I've always considered myself to be terrible with "hospitality." I suppose what I really mean is that I'm terrible with the American version of "hospitality," or, as a previous poster put it, entertaining. I love the depth brought here. I love the examples (I wouldn't have thought to loan slippers for the bathroom floor, but I love that idea), and I love how you summed it up... the reminder that self-sufficiency is often a product of selfish pride and not love, yet we don't want to "be a bother," so we keep to ourselves to show "love." Thank you for the reminder that sharing is supposed to be "not just the pretty parts," because, as we know, life often isn't pretty. "Good times... noodle salad."