I read once that in ancient times, especially among eastern nomadic tribesman, that if you could just make it to someone's tent, regardless of your position or standing, you were considered a guest. Even enemies were considered honored invitees if they could just touch part of the tent before an ax, a sword, or a round smooth stone ended their life.
The way they treated their guests meant something to these people. It wasn't our modern idea of hospitality where a couch, a leaky inflatable mattress, or even a few blankets piled up on the floor means your welcome to stay, but not too long cuz 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 spent some time in Atlanta and I can honestly say, I have never felt more welcomed, outside of being with my family, in my entire life. Gladly I can tell you that no one had to offer their daughters to save me from a throng of horny townsmen hell bent on having their way with me, but that doesn't make the hospitality of my hosts any less heroic.
What impacted me the most during our time 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 learned about what hospitality is, and what it is not:
Hospitality is saying hi even though I'm a stranger.
Hospitality is offering me a seat because I look a little road weary.
Hospitality is listening to what I have to say even though I'm just the sidekick.
Hospitality is picking out a perfect slice of pizza just by looking at me.
Hospitality is taking time out of your busy day just to get to know me
Hospitality is not judging me because we differ in our beliefs.
Hospitality is giving up your bed and taking the couch.
Hospitality is sharing your life with me and making me feel accepted.
Hospitality is spending time with me even though you're tired.
Hospitality is sacrificing your rainy day fund so we could have a nice meal.
Hospitality is picking me up so I won't get lost.
Hospitality is not saying a word, not one word, when you hear someone's ass blowing up in the bathroom just steps away from where you are conversing and enjoying a freshly brewed cup of coffee.
So to all of you that treated me as if I 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?