Someone asked me this week: “What is radical hospitality?” (We used that phrase in the Commissioning Litany for the residents of Bethany and Lawrence Houses.)
Good question. Hard question. I can tell you what it isn’t. It isn’t party-planning – not even the best most radical kind of party. It isn’t being the hostess with the most-est. It isn’t throwing the Super Bowl party of the century.
It isn’t picking up hitchhikers on the interstate. It isn’t inviting strangers to sleep on your couch. It isn’t taking enormous risks with your safety and perhaps even your life in the name of welcome and inclusiveness. It certainly isn’t driving your Lexus down Trenton’s State Street at 3am with the windows down and the doors unlocked, dangling your diamond watch out the window.That isn’t hospitality of any kind. It’s stupidity.
But radical hospitality might begin with recognizing that the life that has brought me a car in the garage, a Timex, and enough money to throw some kind of a Super Bowl party is a gift from God that, in the end, has a lot more to do with how generously awesome God is than how capably awesome I may be. If my life and all that is in it belong to God, then I can freely share my life with confidence. It’s not mine to grasp and to hoard anyway.
For me, it starts every morning, when my feet hit the ground, and I once again whisper, “Thanks, God. You rock.”