An Invitation to Hospitality

I’ll be honest. The concept of hospitality tends to make my eye twitch. It brings to mind big tah-dahs and endless lists of to-do’s.

I have to clean the house until it’s spotless.

I have to spend money on special groceries I can’t afford.

I have to make a guest list that includes people who will be a good mix.

And I have to do all of this as a single person who is a complete introvert and generally avoids social gatherings at all costs.

So when I read Leslie Verner’s Invited: The Power of Hospitality in an Age of Loneliness I was prepared to see it as something for other people to do. You know, the hostess-with-the-mostest types who are walking embodiments of Food Network, HGTV and Pinterest all rolled in to one.

But I was struck by how often I could relate to Leslie’s words and how much her heart for hospitality made me want to strive for the same.

Invited reminds me that genuine hospitality is rarely about the what but always focused on the who.

It doesn’t matter what I do or serve or plan, as long as my focus is on the person(s) I invite. The person I see sitting on her porch and ask to join me as I walk to my neighborhood farmers market. The person who always eats lunch in her office when I head outside to eat on a gorgeous summer day. The person who experienced a loss several months ago who may benefit from something as simple as getting out to pick blueberries.

I thought I was reading a book about hospitality. Turns out I was being Invited to remember how good it feels to be welcomed to the table.

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