Posts tagged "love your neighbor"

When Hospitality is a Safe Place for the Waiting

When I was four-years-old, my family moved to a large house on a dirt road in a small province in the Philippines.  The leaves of mango trees were glossy green, and coconut trees reached their branches for the clouds. On the hot days of the dry season, we felt the sweat trickle down our necks as we sat in front of electric fans. Wet season brought with it daily rain...

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Two Kinds of Lonely

I've allowed a few years to slip by without a proper visit to Mr. Don, our beloved backyard neighbor. The kids have been busy growing as they do between the ages of three and six, and I'm plain worn out come December. At least that has been my excuse.     But not this year. This is the year of no excuses, so we create excuses to go visit our favorite neighbor...

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Sunlight, Shadows, and a Supper Club

When I was younger, I was sure that loneliness was both inevitable and temporary. It was simply the price one paid for moving to a faraway city or taking a new job or joining a different church. Loneliness was a straightforward ailment easily cured in time. Now that I am older, I understand loneliness not as a sickness but a shadow. The sun shines brightly here in the land of...

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Women Who Gather At The Table

It's funny these days, how people you've never met in person can become dear friends through spaces like Voxer and Facebook. Instagram breeds in us, a familiarity for others because we've seen their bedroom, or their children at play, their closet, or their front door. As weird as it is, it's also the world we live in. This is how many of us find community. Six years ago, I met a woman...

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Practical Hospitality In The New Year

This morning in church during the sermon my pastor talked briefly about the news continuing to come out of Aleppo. He talked about the terrible videos and shocking goodbyes some of the people under attack were sharing via social media in their last hours. It broke my heart, and it made me feel helpless to do anything that could change the situation. ***  The other day I had a conversation with...

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Neighbor Man Cometh

One Christmas Eve my husband and I invited our flannelled, bushy-bearded neighbor man to join us for our family’s traditional, holiday meal. We’d known him for a few years. He used to come to his country property every weekend to camp out, but come one Sunday night, rather than leave for the city, he moved into his camp trailer. Permanent. I sometimes saw him at the outlet store where dented...

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On Sacrifice and Greater Love

I knew the conversation was not going well when she crossed her arms and leaned back in the chair, but I was not prepared for how far off the rails the train was going to go. She asked questions trying to poke holes in my every word and I answered each one with as much honesty as the moment would allow. How do you answer with stark honesty when the...

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Hospitality of Reconciliation

''You are about to be ordained into a church that thrives on its English and colonial past,'' he said, ''a church which historically has sought to make its black congregations and churches invisible either by not admitting them to the councils or by trying to model them on the basis of English piety and English preaching.'' - Dr. Hood, prof. General theological Seminary Ouch.  Recited at the ordination ceremony of...

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Invisible Hospitality And An End-of-Summer Cake

Ten years ago, she confessed to me that hospitality wasn’t for her. The tasks that brought me life brought her only unbearable stress. She sloughed off a burden of expectation that wasn’t hers to bear. She said no to hosting friends for dinner and said yes to so many other good things. * Today, that same friend is mom to a houseful of kids. They arrived through birth and adoption...

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On Leaves, Springs and Being Stretched

I’ve always been fascinated by tables with leaves. The idea that tables were made to be stretched wider on occasion, to receive guests outside of the ordinary people who normally fill the chairs around them. The idea that our tables are supposed to, were MADE to grow, speaks a quiet challenge to my heart. My grandmother’s dining table was famous in our family for the way it was constructed to...

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