Hospitality Goes Both Ways

Kara Hadley is a student at the Institute for G.O.D. with a special heart for widows. Since enrolling at the Institute, she's volunteered her time to work with widows in our neighborhood -- doing housework, cooking meals or listening to their stories. She reflects here, on her classes at the Institute and the hospitality she was able to show, and receive from Mrs. Palmer. 

Mrs. Palmer is a widow in my neighborhood who has had many challenges in her lifetime. It is a pleasure for me to listen to Mrs. Palmer because not everyone listens to her.

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On one of my weekly visits with Mrs. Palmer, she told me she was going to bake a strawberry cake--her favorite strawberry cake with fresh strawberries. Her cake quickly became popular among her family. She reminisced about how she used to bake all the time when she could walk and how her mother used to bake so many pies and cakes during the holidays. Baking for the holidays was a tradition in her family for years. [Now, she is an amputee, has a difficulty getting around, and most of her family is distanced from her.]

I was excited to be a part of the experience. I was ready to learn from Mrs. Palmer’s years of experience and the special skill she developed over the years. I could not turn the opportunity down. I’ve had a conviction for a while to serve widows--to hear their stories, learn from them and care for them. This was my opportunity.

When I arrived at Mrs. Palmer’s house after gathering the ingredients, she shared her knowledge and secrets. As she did, I thought about the woman in Luke 7:36-50 who washed Jesus’s feet. She was hospitable to Jesus when other's weren't. She noticed Jesus and did everything in her power to be hospitable to him. There is a contrast in Luke 7 about what hospitality looks like for Simon the Pharisee and what it looks like for the woman who washes his feet.  

I have been thinking about what biblical hospitality looks like in Luke 7 and applying it to my life. Mrs. Palmer showed me hospitality by sharing stories and her gift of baking cakes with me. I was hospitable to her by listening, learning and giving my time. I will never forget the moment I had with Mrs. Palmer. It was special to bring her to our community's banquet later that night, to share a meal with her and my friends. It is a privilege to fellowship with other people and to share what the Lord is doing and spend time together. I do not want to miss opportunities to show hospitality to others and show others how valuable they truly are.