The Spirit of Hospitality
It was from the book, The Spirit of Loveliness by Emily Barnes, and this chapter that I first began to love entertaining in my home. Before I read this chapter on the spirit of hospitality, I felt that in order to entertain properly, everything had to be perfect. The table had to be set beautifully, my house had to be spotless, the meal was suppose to be gourmet, all with candles burning and fresh flowers or a seasonal centerpiece on the table.
There are special occasions where this is called for, like in the pictures above. This was my daughter’s 18th birthday and I spent days planning, cooking and decorating for this very special occasion. It was a blast.
But, the true spirit of hospitality is what I learned at home from my momma. Mom worked outside the home and so Saturdays were our cleaning days. Every Saturday, we three girls would get out of bed, eat breakfast while watching a few cartoons, and then start cleaning our 3 bedroom, 1 bath home. Momma would hurry us along so it wouldn’t take all day; but, we would laugh, horse around and a lot of days it took the whole Saturday.
A Knock on the Door
Regardless of our schedule, however, every Saturday there would be a knock on the back door. The screen door was always open, so we usually heard Momma holler, “Come in.” My daddy was the chief of police in our small town, so sometimes it was an officer looking for him, it might be one of my friends, a neighbor or a relative, but it seemed someone always visited us on Saturday.
On one particular Saturday, I remember a very intoxicated woman showed up who didn’t realize that her monthly visitor had shown up that morning. Momma very politely and discreetly directed her to our bathroom so she could clean herself up. Then they sat down to have a conversation that I’m sure the woman didn’t remember having that afternoon. It didn’t matter to Momma.
The only time I remember Momma being frustrated when visitors knocked on the door, was when the Jehovah’s Witness would show up. We girls would roll our eyes and whisper to Momma not to answer the door. But, oh no. “Come in,” she hollered and in they came and down they sat, sometimes for hours.
We were Christian, but not of that denomination and it seemed that one Saturday a month, they were determined to convert my momma. But in true “momma fashion”, she invited them in and tried to convert them. I know that my mom would have preferred that we keep cleaning, but when she sat – we played, so on these Saturdays it likely took all day to clean our little house.
Saturday’s Lessons on the Spirit of Hospitality
The lessons I learned from these Saturdays are:
- It doesn’t matter if your house is clean. It only matters that people feel welcome in your home.
- Treat everyone the same, regardless of their religion, politics or morals.
- Look up from whatever you are concentrating on when people are in your presence. They are more important than tasks.
- Cleaning can be fun – with your sisters.
- Cleanliness is next to godliness
My challenge to ladies today is this, put down your phone, iPad and laptop and spend some original face time with a friend. Nothing compares.