Sunday, April 07, 2013


I've been thinking a lot about hospitality the last while and what it is and what it isn't. I did a presentation about 8 years ago (when we had been married for only 16 years!). So I thought in conjunction with my (hopefully) regular posts on The Hidden Art of Homemaking, I would also add some thoughts about hospitality.

My presentation opened with this story. It came from this website.

When their daily devotions took Bob and Betty Blixmore to the end of the book of Romans, they came across the verse that says:Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. (12:13)Deciding to take this seriously, Bob and Betty began to wonder about practicing this verse in their own home. Much of the planning fell to Betty, since Bob was very busy with his work. That was fine with Betty because Bob couldn’t tell a salad fork from a pitchfork and rarely linked more than four fully intelligible sentences together (the last time was when the Oilers gave up a 35-3 lead to lose to the Bills, back in ’92). 
Betty thought about having the Slakdings over, but the Slakdings had five children and her table only seated eight comfortably so someone would have to eat off a TV tray and that would be awkward and possibly messy on her new, expensive, velour-look carpet.
She almost invited the Wakzones over in April, but only had time to make a casserole and worried that casserole might make her look bad since casseroles are a better choice in the winter (although it had been a chilly spring).
She left a message for the Wingdaks, but by the time they returned the call on Friday afternoon Zippy the cat had gotten into the snail repellent and was barfing non-stop so that didn’t seem like a good weekend to have guests and Betty made up some other reason for having called when she ran into Marge Wingdak down at the Cart-N-Scarf.
All through May and June Betty waited to replace that horrid sofa before having company over. In July and August the Blixmores were off to the lake every weekend and in September everyone seemed so busy what with school starting and the next thing you know it was the holidays!
Next, Bob and Betty grew old. Before you know it, Bob and Betty died, never having had anyone over. The guys from the mortuary noticed that the Blixmore’s carpet was in really great shape.
 I love this story! Such a great reminder of what happens when we wait for the "perfect time" to practice hospitality.

1 comment:

Pam said...

Yes that's a great story. Sounds a lot like me :) I think for whatever reason it is harder for some people to practice hospitality. If it's fairly easy and natural for someone, I think they have a tough time understanding why others may be more reticent. Of course there are always excuses and silly reasons (like the cat barfing). When I do have people over I want it to be special. Though the house may not be perfect, at least they can tell an effort was made. Though the meal may be simple, it will usually take more time and care than a normal family meal. I guess what I'm rambling about is that personality comes into play. I can handle people just stopping over, for example, but I can't relax. It feels exhausting and no matter what I try to tell myself the anxiety level goes through the roof. Great blog, enjoyed reading and thinking about it. :)