twin towers of Christianity: prayer and hospitality

There was a knock on my door. It was 9/11, and I had no clue whom I would find out there. 

The top of my front door has a window that looks like half a cake--four slices. I peeked through a slice...and was relieved. It was Ginger, a dear friend. 

On my side of the door, however, was unfolded laundry, chairs pulled out from around the kitchen table in preparation for mopping, and me--a mess. 

"Is it the wrong day? Because it's been a crazy week, and I could totally see myself coming on the wrong day," she said, full of grace.

"I don't know," I laughed. "But we're having tomato soup for lunch. Come on in." 

It ended up, I had somehow gotten a week ahead of myself in my calendar. When I flipped back one page, there it was, 9/11, "Ginger, lunch, here."

And I'm reading Dispatches from the Front by Tim Keesee...remembering, too, a conversation with him over homemade pasta and tiramisu at my sister's home...and "given to hospitality" is going through my mind. Tim makes the point that hospitality is key to gospel advance, a part of the Christian life we dare not minimize. And I'm convinced the amount of coffee he consumes is way more about his passion for soul conversation and relationship building than his love for the substance itself.

"It's an hour cleaner than it was." I smiled. And she didn't care. 

We stirred in water and a little sour cream to the generic, condensed soup, and topped it with strong, fresh basil from the backyard and whole wheat crackers to a child's heart's content. 

Later, the kids played Toca Boca's "Kitchen Monster" on my iPad. And we moms talked, heart to heart.

She told me about a lesson the Lord's been repeating in her life, one that even her five year old is picking up because he's bowing his head before taking her on in Skip-Bo. And I'm listening with joy to her lesson on praying....

And then last night as I debriefed Alan on some stuff with our boys, confessing, "I just don't know what to do for him."

His calm "pray for him, love him" hit home.

Do you remember David Hosaflook's mission strategy? "Pray. Meet people. Tell them about Jesus." 

And it's sinking in.

Prayer and hospitality.

This is how God works. 

It seems so simple put that way. Prayer and hospitality. 

And I think at the root of both is humility. 

In prayer, we are humbling ourselves before God, admitting it is He who must do the work, begging for His wisdom and direction, that He would make our way plain before our faces. 

And in hospitality, we're opening our front doors and serving something really basic so that we can love other people.

And I'm so aware that as I live this way--given to prayer, given to hospitality--that it's not just a constant outpouring. It's not. Given to prayer, given to hospitality--this Christianity, this way of life--it builds me up, makes me strong too. It is the way I feel--really feel and experience--God working in and through me. And it's amazing!

Given to prayer.
Given to hospitality.

Let's keep humbling ourselves...and being amazed!

God is willing and able to work in and through each of us.

Amen? 


Grace and peace,
with love,

michelle








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