February 5, 2021
Do not neglect hospitality, for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels. (from Hebrews 13:1-8)
When I first began working with the homeless population, I was given this advice: “Treat everyone with love and compassion, regardless of their appearance or demeanor; we don’t know their story.”
We tend to be quick to judge: A person with a peculiar hair style is placed in this category, someone wearing what we consider eccentric clothing into that category, and someone speaking a language we don’t understand into yet another category.
What we see and hear is surface data. We can’t know a person’s heart until we welcome her. We can’t know a person’s pain until we show him compassion. We can’t love anyone until we are willing to do both – until we are willing to extend genuine hospitality.
If we are courageous enough to extend such hospitality, we open ourselves up to the possibility of an epiphany – Christ revealed in a “chance” encounter.