Thursday, April 22, 2010
Mad Hatter Hospitality
Did you ever come away from a gathering feeling more frazzled than refreshed. I think that is how Alice must have truly felt after her tea party. Maybe Lewis Carol was ahead of his time when he wrote "Alice in Wonderland", because the "Mad Hatter" seems like something right out of todays news.
I was thinking about hospitality after a conversation I had with my daughter in law recently, and we were discussing how "hospitality" (in both the giving of and receiving of) is diminishing into a lost art form.
Now don't get me wrong, I have been the recipient of some of the most wonderful hospitality in the past and present, from those whom I love and who love me, but in society as a whole, it does not seem like the art of hospitality is cultivated like it used to be. I'm sure we have all been to or hosted gatherings that ended up feeling like we were at the "Mad Hatters" tea party.
So many things have changed in the last 30 years since I was first married. The world truly is a different place. In Matthew 24:12 we're told that in the last days, because of the increase of wickedness, most people's love will grow cold. I am so sad about this and realize that we have been given a forewarning about how things will proceed, but with the warning, an ability to stop it from happening in our own sphere; our homes. Our homes are the safe haven that show the light in the dark world. It is our place of peace, if indeed the Holy Spirit is welcome and free there. We find a delightful opportunity to refresh, encourage and bless someone, by having them in our home. Whether it is for coffee, lunch, tea, or dinner, it is something very precious to the Lord when we are hospitable.
Perhaps it is the kindness, graciousness and servanthood that is all too often missing at gatherings. Perhaps it is politeness and manners and responding with interest and understanding that has disappeared. I was thinking that it would be nice to inspire each other with comments, suggestions or stories, so that we might cultlivate that lovely art of hospitality once again. I think our Southern sisters have a little bit of a head start in this arena and could surely inspire us.