Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Building Community Through Hospitality

. . . I have never met anyone who was offended because I opened my door and invited her to come in. Karen Mains

Hospitality was an integral part of the faith & community of Francis & Edith Schaeffer. They founded L’Abri in Switzerland in 1955 when they decided to open their home to be a place where people might find satisfying answers to their questions and practical demonstration of Christian care. It was called L'Abri, French for "shelter," because they sought to provide a shelter from the pressures of a relentlessly secular 20th century.

Buddy & Bernie Arnold, also known for tremendous hospitality, shared their most primary thoughts on the subject years ago. Here they are:
-“Be Yourself. “
-“It’s Going to be a Lot of Work.” (Schaeffer also expands on this, with comments about the time, energy & loving devotion that hospitality truly requires.)
- “You never know how much good you do from just a cup of coffee.” Sometimes we just need a little kindness and a listening ear.

The busyness of life often prevents us from being hospitable to those around us and those in need. Today, why don’t you get out your calendar and be intentional with inviting others to experience your hospitality, conversation, and encouragement?

Learn more about L'Abri from Edith Schaeffer’s books, “L’Abri”, “The Hidden Art of Homemaking” & “Tapestry”. >carrie.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

The first people I think of when I think of hospitality are Larry and Hollye Conway. They are a missionary family that we worked with when we lived in Kenya and they continue to work with Made In The Streets. They always seemed to pick up on the smallest of things that we might mention to make us more "comfortable" during our stay. I mentioned one time my favorite comfort food was grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. The next time I stayed with Hollye she served this for lunch. When we transitioned our move from the Coulston's house into a much smaller apartment, they asked about our settling in. We mentioned that we missed having a stereo at night that played different water sounds that would help drown out the night sounds and help us sleep. The next time they saw us they gave us their cd player and a nature sounds cd. I deeply desire this gift of hospitality and from the Conways, I learned that it takes asking the right questions, closely listening to the needs of others, and finding simple ways to fulfill them.