The word for this week’s Five Minute Friday free-write is “neighbor.” (Click on the image above to find some other great posts in the linkup too.) Here goes:
“When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.” (Romans 12:13 NLT)
I had tacked the last part of that verse, “Always be eager to practice hospitality,” up on the whiteboard at my old place for five years and that little piece of paper made the move with me to my new place this March. I wanted it to be a central theme in our new house as well.
You see, my old roommate and I had made it a priority to invite people over, to make our place warm and welcoming to others and to generously share the space God had given us with others.
We put on fall parties, tea parties, Christmas parties, birthday parties, pumpkin-carving parties, dinner parties, etc. We hosted Bible studies, small groups, Connect Groups and spa days. We had her brothers and a friend come stay in our little two-bedroom place for a week. We invited my five nieces and nephews over to visit. We listened on our living room couch to countless friends pour out their hearts and share their hardships with us.
Looking back, it truly was a place of hospitality. But that didn’t come effortlessly and it didn’t always come easily. Sometimes it was hard to stay up late to host or listen. Sometimes my introverted nature wanted my home to be my sanctuary instead of a revolving door. However, we had to make a conscious decision to take what we had and bless others with it. And that made all the difference!
So, who is our neighbor? I believe it is anyone that God brings into our path, into our lives for a season or into our sphere of influence. Go then and be eager to practice hospitality to those around you!