Monday, March 5, 2012

Rewarding Hospitality (part 2)

Can you finish these saying?

What goes around ________   __________.
Whatever a man _______, that also will he _______.*
Let us not lose heart in ________ ______. *

It’s true! These things might not happen right away but in “due time”, in God’s time, there are rewards for doing what is good and right and commanded by God.

As I mentioned in Rewarding Hospitality, you don’t practice hospitality for the rewards you will reap or the prizes you will get. You should do it because God has told us to, but there just might be rewards on earth!
Guests at my Mom's house recently
Since I've been married I have always lived at least 2000 miles from my parents. They live in a town in California (well, I guess it’s a city since the computer revolution took place there!) I first lived in Chicago, then Lima, Peru, after that Bogota, Colombia, and most recently Dubuque, Iowa (the small city on the Mississippi River where my mom’s mom was born and grew up, and where my mom went to college!) My only sibling, a younger brother, and his family live 1000 miles from my parents, in Seattle, Washington.

The last 5 or more years we’ve noticed that my dad has had short term memory loss. It becomes more pronounced with the years and Mom has had to take over all the decision making tasks. It’s at the point where we don’t want to move Dad because we’re afraid it would confuse him completely.

Although it’s more difficult, mom continues practicing hospitality. This last Christmas with my brother and family not arriving until the day after Christmas, she decided they wouldn’t spend the day alone and had a group of people over for Christmas dinner.

Without family nearby, it could be very lonely. But my mom is reaping the rewards of 56 years of practicing hospitality—40 years in the town where she is now—thanks to the loving people in their local church! They get invited to those kitchen counter buffets at our friends’ house, to just about every birthday party, out to eat, “Thanksgiving in the woods” where she is lauded for her cranberry relish, and the list goes on!
Dad (right) keeping warm at "Thankgiving in the Woods"
 Here are some other great ideas people have had for including them:
  • One family asked my parents to join them on the 4th of July watching the fireworks display
  • They were taken out for a British “High Tea” for mom’s birthday
  • A single man returns their hospitality with invitations to nice restaurants once or twice a year
  • A friend gets tickets to the California Youth Symphony concerts and they go together
  • My parents continue their interest in missions and always have a ride to the quarterly missions conference.
  • Their Friday night Bible study is across town and they catch a ride with friends, something both couples enjoy as they are able to visit during the rides.
  • Recently a dear friend took Mom to an early morning appointment to have pain relief injected into her hip. I'm so grateful!
  • When I fly in to visit, someone usually brings my parents to the airport to get me and see me off.
  • Two Indian (as in from India) children have adopted my parents as their local grandparents. They write them notes, draw pictures for them, include them in their birthday parties, and give them a copy of their school pictures. This might not sound like a reward for hospitality, but it is—in a round-about-way. A woman who has been invited to my parents many times was the one who “recommended” my parents as grandparents to these children who are far from their natural grandparents. The joy is mutual, and I know my mother prays for them regularly, too.

I am so thankful for these people who supply what I can’t for my parents and happy that they have an exciting social life and fellowship!

So do not be weary of doing what’s right!
Write a comment below and tell me how you have rewarded hospitality for someone!

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