Thursday 12 March 2009

Hospitality to strangers, ummm, street people? A cup of cold water!

November 19, 2007

Heb 13:1 Let brotherly love continue: 2 Do not neglect to show hospitality (sweet!) to strangers (hmm… You keep planting that in my mind… all those hungry cold people out on the street… but is it safe? … and what would my family say? … or is that more a “church family” thing? .. ummm.. some would say it’s foolish to invite “unsafe” people into your home (they might come back and steal… or never leave you alone (and make your house dirty and smelly…)… or … (but I know some people feel that about the church building too)…

Oh, why does such a sweet morsel have to be so complicated? You did say to be gentle as a dove but wise as a serpent (or something to that effect) didn’t You? Am I trying to squiggle free of something here? Are the implications of “hospitality to strangers” giving me cold feet? Oh dear, oh dear! What do You want, I wonder? What would You do? Oh my goodness! I just started writing at the top of a new page in my cute little journal – and what does it say there?!? – “a cup of cold water would be a gift to many people in our world.”!!! Now what is that?!? A coincidence?!? I don’t think so!

Oh Lord, I want to be a bearer and a sharer of many glasses of cool water… please show me how You want me to do that!!??!!? I have a feeling it doesn’t have to be complicated – but that once started, it may become a life-long passion that has to be followed through on, right to the end! Well, with You on the adventure, it will be worth it! And I can trust You to take care of the details! I can!

And who know!?! … “for thereby some have entertained angels unawares!”

v.3 “Remember those who are in prison with them; and those who are ill-treated, since you also are in the body… Now I think this has, in context, to do with fellow believers (so I guess that would also apply to the previous verse too – although that doesn’t leave much squirming-away room – who knows how many believers there already are, or potentially might be, out there on the street, especially with Pastor Peter and the street-corner preaching and singing folk and all…).

Anyway, I’ve always thought of “in prison” as literal jails, and I’ve always been a bit nervous about that, too (seeing as those are places with “bad guys” …. But when Paul wrote it, the prisons were also full of believers – like he himself! … and I think maybe I should go volunteer to “visit” at the local jail (Pastor ___ does that…) (Maybe he’d take me along? Lord? Nudge him to invite me? Yikes! Ask him myself?)…

But I was also just thinking… what about people imprisoned in so many other ways… by their own bad choices; by the enemy; by mental or physical illness; by addictions of the mind, body, spirit… and who are those who are ill-treated? This sure calls us to open our eyes, doesn’t it? Oh dear….and to step into and get involved – yes, down and dirty, in the mud, if that is what it takes to get face-to-face, and help lift them out by bringing them to You (no, I don’t mean “joining them” in evil… but it may result in being on the receiving end of some ill-treatment – and even physical imprisonment (jailing) the way freedoms are eroding here… and already are gone in many places where You just might send me…

Oh Lord God! Your Word sounds so “brotherly love-y” on the surface, so sweet… but there is bitter times, trouble, sorrow… sacrifice… crucifixion, even! … lurking underneath… and yet that is the path… the only path?!?!... to true victory over sin and the enemy and all his forces, isn’t it? Oh my… I don’t think I’ve ever really seen that before…

I ask for adventure… but I want fun and excitement… well, You offer some excitement, alright… but not exactly fun all the time… the end is joy… actually the whole journey is joy if we open our eyes wide enough to really see and experience and live that it’s all about, all with, all through and for – You! Like it says at the top of the journal page… with a cute little salt-and-pepper-shaker picture (another “not-coincidence” I presume!) “we can always count on a really good friend to season a day wth joy!”

Well You are my truly best friend for always! And You do offer “joy unspeakable” forever… but it’s sure no guarantee of silly fun and games (though those do drop in from time to time! (

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