Rhythm of Grace

You know that phrase from Jesus where he said, (and I paraphrase) “When you gave clothes to the naked, when you visited the prisoner in jail, when you gave food and drink to the needy, when you visited the sick and needy…you were doing it to ME!”  When I think of what this looks like in my life, it makes me wonder a bit.  First, because I don’t have much time to do much outside of taking care of my two young girls and tending to family life.  Second, it’s so easy to get caught up in an idea and envision what you’ll do; rather, than actually follow through with a plan, because life happens, it’s complex.

But even though life is full of complexties, I still am not, nor cannot be satisfied with either number one or two standing as an excuse to not love through tangible means.  It’s not part of my design.  I think it goes back to who God designed me to be and what does that mean.  What does that practically look like in my current situation?  Do I put certain things on hold? What are non-negotiables, regardless of station in life?  How do I dance in the rhythm of God’s grace while teaching others the dance?

I think this is where hospitality can come in for me.  And as I’ve realized more and more over the years that this notion is far reaching and more all-encompassing than we let it be most the time.  It’s beyond the food.  It’s beyond an immaculate house.  It’s beyond a perfect picture family.  It’s beyond answering the “right” way.  In my small part of the world, at this moment in time, it means walking alongside someone and making them feel more dignified upon leaving.  It’s like Jesus said, “it’s giving the very thing that the person you encounter the thing they need most at that moment (paraphrase again).”

So for some it may be a cooked meal (family with a new baby), for another it could mean watching their kids (single mom in desperate need to get some personal time), while for another it’s simply looking at them in the eye and acknowledging their presence (the beggar on the side of the street).  I do think hospitality can include food, because food really does bring people together, but if I simply serve food without love–it’s a lost cause.  In fact, this reminds me of a time when friends came over many years ago and there I was bustling about serving our guests and ensuring their needs (more like their bellies) were tended.  By the end of the evening, while I was thinking I had been a great hostess, one friend said something to me that pierced my heart and forever made me question the true meaning of hospitality.  He said, “Kamille, thanks for the food.  Ben, thanks for your hospitality!”  Ouch!

What? I prided myself in hospitality.  I WAS hospitality.  I mean, when people thought of me they think hospitality–right?!  Well, not that night and possibly not many nights before that.  I started to ask myself why he said that to us.  And it dawned on me that I wasn’t being hospitable.  What I was doing was more like being a waitress, but I wasn’t stopping to inquire and draw out our guests.  However, Ben was doing just that.  So at the end of that night began my journey in this very expansive word hospitality.

So, how is it played out at this point in my life?  Well, I’m still searching for some more tangible ways, but I do know this.  I have been given a great task & call on my life to parent two girls.  And I know those two girls have been welcomed into our home, so I ask myself this, “how do I show them the hospitality of Christ in the ordinary goings of life (potty-training, nursing, playing, conversing, etc)?”  I’m not 100% sure, but I do know this, I’m trying to move to the rhythm of God’s dance and I think that’s a great place to start.

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About Kamille

daughter of the most high.wife.mother. sister.daughter.aunt.friend.baker. culinary seeker.singer.storyteller. hospitality giver.foodie View all posts by Kamille

5 responses to “Rhythm of Grace

  • mfm

    kamille,
    tasty food for thought. i changed my orientation toward entertaining about 10 yrs ago when i read the best book i’ve ever read on hospitality.
    MAKING ROOM by CHRISTINE POHL.
    I love your story about leaving with your belly full and your heart untouched. this i think is the difference. we like to entertain friends, and hospitality entertains strangers as well. we need both,but oh so often we don’t have the time for the later. Great topic, one we all need to digest.
    Good thing we can keep cooking huh? lots of people that need that touch. to their soul as well as their belly.
    Keep your ministry flowing !!!
    P.S. you can borrow a copy of book if you havn’t read it or are interested in reading it. it’s right up your alley!

  • Veronica

    I really like where you’re going with this blog. I think your comments here are insightful but even so, I wonder if the comment made by your guest might not have been what they intended. “He said, ‘Kamille, thanks for the food. Ben, thanks for your hospitality!”…maybe it was a manner to be appreciative of both hosts and appreciating the value in each person?? While it can seem easier to thank the person that “created the experience/meal” you would still want to include the spouse for also being a part of that experience w/out having physically produced the meal. Know what I mean? By no means am i trying to down play the importance of hospitality, and I do think an experience like that can open eyes on what more we can do in that area…I guess I’m your long-time friend and want you to strive towards your goal but without striving for the elusive perfection. Love You

    I know I will learn a lot from you in this area!

    • Kamille

      Hey Veronica–thanks for your comment and I hear what you’re saying. Thanks for handing me grace all the time and for loving me like a good friend should (unconditionally–especially since you’ve seen both the good and bad times). kamille

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