This morning, as I was enjoying the solitude of an early morning walk, I encountered an older fellow at street side checking his mailbox. An energy-sapping week filled with complicated responsibilities found me wanting to avoid chatting with a stranger. Fortunately, it was too late. He greeted me, and immediately engaged me in neighborly conversation.
It resulted in a simple, though restorative,# experience for both of us. He shared fascinating Native American history of the village in which we live. And I realized (again) how a simple hospitable exchange, even amidst angst and worries, can turn a day around.
Genuine hospitality encompasses little more than acts of graciousness and generosity of spirit. It begins in the human heart and consists of simple acts of courtesy that offer comfort and consolation. A hospitable heart willingly makes room for change – even change that disrupts a quite morning walk. It also fosters belonging and connection to others.
Think about a time when you received a simple act of hospitality – such as dinner, picking up a child at school, a ride to a doctor’s appointment, feeding your horse. How did that make you feel?