Where I Have A Confession on My Hospitable Skills
I have a confession to make. You might think I'm great at extending hospitality by reading my words, or coming into my home. But, honestly, I am a failure at it time & again. God humbles me when reading the words of Jesus preparing a breakfast of bread & fish for his friends as I recall not making the most of the opportunity I was given just the day before.
Here is Jesus with such intentionality & purpose on the shore, calling out to his friends to try the other side of the boat. Tired & worn out, they follow the words of this stranger to realize it's their Lord. Hauling back the hefty net of fish they are welcomed to a well tended fire. Yesterday in the sermon, the visual of the well tended fire struck me the most.
It was the time, care & effort Jesus had put into making the fire, watching over it, in order to produce "a fire of burning coals." He had prepared with a purpose in what seems so little of ways...through tending the fire, making it ready for fish. Ordinary task producing heaven impact.
This ordinary task of tending the fire produced conviction in me.
It is in the ho-hum mundane, where I believe we can find the most contentment. It's the plain stuff of life, where we acquire a personal experience. Seemingly ordinary, yet it's extraordinary.
There Jesus does what appears as normal everyday tasks, rubbing the sticks together for amber flickers, but it's with intent as he is preparing a place for his friends. An opportunity to be known. He uses the ordinary to create extraordinary, simply by making room with a hot fire of coals.
Maybe it's Jesus showing up in this typical of mornings with his friends fishing, through his purposeful preparation--making room, in order for them to see him. To know him. Is that what hospitality is suppose to look like?
Just two days ago, a woman who I really didn't want to talk to, or take the time to get to know (at a Women's Ministry function of all places) approached me. I thought she was rather odd & brash. I didn't see the point in tending to this small talk with a person I wouldn't really get to know well. I simply did not want to take the time to nurse this possible burning coals opportunity.
Then, I see how Jesus carefully prepares in the small ways. Provides transforming, personal experience for his friends.
Maybe--just maybe he was providing an ordinary conversation for himself (through me) to be revealed....Yet, I didn't take the time to enter in.
How many times have I missed these opportunities to give hospitability? To see that it's in these little moments of small talk, listening to their story as if I am the last person ever to hear it. How many times have I missed pushing through the difficult, awkward pauses in marriage, motherhood & friendship, in order to get to the root of the hurt or joy?
I'm a broken, sloppy mess friends. I am in need of seeing the little picture, in order to find the big picture. I am humbled time and time again by Jesus' love, compassion & grace as I stumble. Let's make notice of those two sticks awaiting to make coals of fire for the random, ordinary interactions we daily face.