I read once that in ancient times,especially among eastern nomadic tribesman, that if you could justmake it to someone's tent, regardless of your position or standing,you were considered a guest. Even enemies were considered honoredinvitees if they could just touch part of the tent before an ax, asword, or a round smooth stone ended their life.
The way they treated their guests meantsomething to these people. It wasn't our modern idea of hospitalitywhere a couch, a leaky inflatable mattress, or even a few blanketspiled up on the floor means your welcome to stay, but not too longcuz I got a life too you know! No, in ancient times, biblical times,being a guest meant the best food, the softest bed, and even the life of your host's own family over your own.
This past week, JamieTheVWM and I spentsome time in Atlanta and I can honestly say, I have never felt morewelcomed, outside of being with my family, in my entire life. GladlyI can tell you that no one had to offer their daughters to save mefrom a throng of horny townsmen hell bent on having their way withme, but that doesn't make the hospitality of my hosts any lessheroic.
What impacted me the most during ourtime in the states is how much I had to learn about hospitality. So,in an attempt to pay it forward, here are a few things I learnedabout what hospitality is, and what it is not:
Hospitality is saying hi even thoughI'm a stranger. Hospitality is offering me a seatbecause I look a little road weary. Hospitality is listening to what I haveto say even though I'm just the sidekick. Hospitality is picking out a perfectslice of pizza just by looking at me. Hospitality is taking time out of yourbusy day just to get to know me Hospitality is not judging me becausewe differ in our beliefs. Hospitality is giving up your bed andtaking the couch. Hospitality is sharing your life withme and making me feel accepted. Hospitality is spending time with meeven though you're tired. Hospitality is sacrificing your rainyday fund so we could have a nice meal. Hospitality is picking me up so I won'tget lost.And finally,Hospitality is not saying a word, notone word, when you hear someone's ass blowing up in the bathroom juststeps away from where you are conversing and enjoying a freshlybrewed cup of coffee.
So to all of you that treated me as ifI mattered,
What is your best memory of being a guest? Is there some area or region where you have experienced overwhelming hospitality? How can you better live out the concept of hospitality?