Lord, thank you for leading me by quiet waters, for feeding me at Your table, and for inviting me to dwell in Your house forever.
Would You please give me opportunities this week to show true hospitality to others and to do it generously, joyfully and without grumbling.
Would You give me grace to embrace interruptions as gifts from You, and help me to make space in my schedule at my table, in my home and my heart for others.
This was one of the prayers in my Sabbath devotional this morning. Just after I had said “Amen”, I received a message on my phone from old friends saying:
“Would you like a “socially distancing” lunch brought to you today?”
Who knew that prayers were answered so rapidly? Especially in this time of isolating, quarantine and shielding! Not only did P and V arrive with a casserole, a loaf of bread, homemade brownies, a hunk of Roquefort cheese and a bottle of red wine, V also did the washing up afterwards! My hospitality consisted of setting the table on my patio, cutting the bread and making the coffee – done generously, joyfully and certainly without grumbling and I definitely embraced this interruption as a gift. It was a lovely surprise, and an opportunity to sit and talk, catch up, and enjoy our friendship. V and I share a birthday and I had also just finished crocheting a lacy scarf, which V graciously accepted as a belated birthday present. We decided this lunch was a belated birthday party. Thank you, Lord!
I see the last few weeks as a very generous and gracious gift from the One who provides. At the end of July my best friend – who lives about 20 km away – invited me to stay a week with her, which became 10 days, and gave us plenty of time to put the world to rights, watch our favourite TV series on rainy days and enjoy the privilege of swimming and floating around in her private pool on hot sticky days. I was especially grateful that she played chauffeur for me, so I didn’t have to take the train (masks are mandatory on public transport here, but I still don’t like the idea) and also took me to the supermarket so I was able to stock up on food and essentials, instead of having to haul my shopping from the village. Such friends are truly a huge blessing.
Prior to that, I was delighted to be able to enjoy some time with my Dear Eldest Granddaughter and her family. She has four children, aged 3 to 12, and they spent their summer holiday in their caravan on the Bad Ragaz campsite just down the road from my house. This is Heidiland so they were out and about most of the time, but we met up twice for extended meals and the children found their way from the campsite to Granny’s house, so that also gave me a chance to exercise a little hospitality, too!
“Now I’m 12 I’m allowed to drink coffee,” announced my great-grandson S on his arrival.
“Does that mean you would like a cup of coffee, then?”
“Yes please. With lots of milk.”
His five-year-old brother M had a “Granny tea”, and they sat very primly at my table, demonstrating their good manners, but alas, the coffee didn’t meet S’s standards (he prefers Nescafé) and M wasn’t impressed by the biscuits he was offered, so it wasn’t a total success. However, they are very forgiving and promised to give me a second chance some time.
I confess that I was a little sceptical this morning about asking for “opportunities this week to show true hospitality to others” when most people I know aren’t going out – but I was quickly taught a lesson, and now my fridge and freezer are well stocked, so I’m prepared! Who will be my next surprise guest, I wonder?