Our chief liturgist, Caryn, amuses me. She has a handful with her two boys, one of which is currently still living with her. As such, when he has friends over to stay the night, she takes this opportunity from the perspective that only Caryn can. She tells her son’s friends that “..it is customary of the old ways that, now since I have provided you the hospitality and a shelter to sleep, that in return, you provide me with a gift in return..” This of course leads to her having her lawn mowed, or a garden weeded, and any other tasks around the house that are perfect for young male labor.
On a more serious note, hospitality may not be the virtue that I practice the most, but it is by far the one I admire the most. My father is one of the most hospitable persons I know, for the sheer fact that he is known by our neighbors as the “Salem Bottom Angel” for all the help he provides. He is always there when someone needs to be shown how to sharpen a chain saw, when the old ladies across the street need help finding a tool, or when the Bergans leave for vacation and need someone to take care of their critters. It’s very admirable.
I’m dually impressed by members of ADF who set up the hospitality tents at Wellspring, or provide tents to people without during festivals, or open their home to guests in the area that need a place to stay or a ride from an airport. It is inspiring, and I only wish to offer the same amount of hospitality that I can.
Unfortunately this is a hard virtue for me, simply because I do not trust most of humanity. I don’t say that in terms of ADF or my Grove, but humanity as a whole. I am still hospitable, but I sometimes find my hospitality limited, pending the person in need. I’m not exactly sure how I will overcome that, but I will try.
(Word Count: 341)