The Message puts Proverbs 31:20 like this:
“She’s quick to assist anyone in need [and] reaches out to help the poor.”
While no version of the Bible (at least not that I found) uses the actual word “hospitality,” I think a generous and hospitable spirit is key to being like this woman in Proverbs. Also, it’s one of the things that I love about living in the Midwest. Here, people still smile at you when they pass you on the sidewalk. I know this is not true of all regions of the U.S., but here in Missouri, we seem to be a little isolated from the coldness of big cities on the coasts.
I personally was the beneficiary of two such kind gestures yesterday. I’m nearly 8 months pregnant, and yesterday I was just tired. There is no other way to describe it. I haven’t been getting much sleep due to an active baby, heartburn, frequent bathroom trips, and a host of other pregnancy-related dilemmas. I worked a full day yesterday, and at 1:30 yesterday afternoon, I had to take the stairs all the way down from my 6th floor office and stand in the basement for 15 minutes while we completed our annual company-wide tornado drill. I’m not trying to complain about any of this – in fact I feel great today – I just want you to understand where I was at by the end of the workday. I was exhausted.
But yesterday afternoon, a nice man held open the door for me as I was exiting the building from work. I can’t tell you how much that simple gesture blessed me. It said “I see you. I know you’re tired. Let me help you out just a little.” And then, even more amazingly, it happened again as I was leaving Little Caesar’s with our dinner. (Yes, I had to stop for pizza. Just getting out plates and sprinkling our slices was parmesan cheese was more cooking than I was in the mood to do.) It goes to show that a little hospitality goes a long way.
You can be hospitable today, too.
1. Stop and get a special drink or snack for your husband, family member, or friend.
2. Give up your seat for someone who needs it more than you do.
3. Hold the elevator for someone who is running late.
4. Greet others with a smile even if you don’t feel like it.
5. Carry a package for someone who needs help.
6. Pay for the person behind you in line at the drive-through or toll booth.
7. When you ask someone “how are you doing?” mean it, and care enough to really listen to their answer.
What else am I missing? How can you be hospitable to those around you? How has someone else demonstrated hospitality to you recently?