We Do the Caring and God Does the Healing
Here at Cedar Hills we believe hospitality is a core characteristic of how we live out the gospel. In “The Simplest Way to Change the World,” Dustin Willis and Brandon Clements describe the power of gospel hospitality this way:
“Grasping that hospitality is a meaningful way that we care for spiritually sick people is why we do this, and it will be the lasting power we need to make this a way of life. Because ultimately the end goal of hospitality is care and healing – we do the caring and Jesus does the healing.”
If I’m honest, practicing authenticity, I struggle sometimes with hospitality. For example, the other night when I got home from running some errands my neighbors were out chatting across the street. I looked out the window, thought about going over, but then accepted the excuse that I didn’t have the emotional energy to go over and care for my neighbors. I was tired and not in the mood. I realized, as I reflected on this quote from Dustin and Brandon, that I sometimes feel like I not only have to do the caring, but I feel responsible for the healing. I choose not to care because I feel inadequate. I know they have brokenness and hurt (like all of us), and I don’t feel strong enough to help them. Today I am challenged that all I need to do is just listen, and trust God to do the healing. As I reflect on this truth I am encouraged. I feel like I can answer the Facebook message with kind hospitality, because I don’t have to have the answers. I don’t have to carry their burdens. God just needs me to listen and care. I can simply be there for those who need relationships, and rely on God to provide the wisdom and strength to bring healing when and how He wills. God commands us to show hospitality in Hebrew 13:1-2.
“Let brotherly love continue. Don’t neglect to show hospitality, for by doing this some have welcomed angels as guests without knowing it.”
Brothers and sisters, let’s be encouraged today. Let us not neglect to show hospitality to our coworkers and neighbors.
God help us to choose to show hospitality. Give us the strength to enter into the messiness of each other’s lives, knowing that YOU bring the healing as we simply care. Amen!
Director of Youth & Young Adults
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Planting Seeds of Hospitality
Hospitality has been extended to me and I’d like to describe it to you.
Imagine sitting in a garden surrounded by beauty. Everywhere you look there is a new type of flower or plant to take in. Also, in this garden is a flowing waterfall with ponds that reflect the setting sun. The sound of it is relaxing and draws you in.
Beside you is a friend. A person that wants to listen and hear what’s on your heart. A friend that has made time for you. They are happy to listen and encourage you on your journey. This friend both affirms you and provides direction as needed.
This setting exists. It exists in the front and backyard of the Landhuis house. I find myself drawn in, cared for, listened to, affirmed, and receiving wisdom whenever I go there.
This is a picture of hospitality. The kind of offering we can provide to others. For some the setting will be a bustling coffee shop or a front porch restoration project. For others a simple walk in the park will give the encouragement needed to get through another day.
At Cedar Hills we are the kind of people that offer hospitality using whatever gifts have been made available to us.
Connection & Communication Architect
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Yesterday I complimented my neighbor on his beautiful garden and noted that I had never seen such a large cabbage. He immediately launched into the fine quality compost he picked up for free from the city’s yard waste disposal site and how he tops off his garden with this stuff every couple of years. (I already knew this.)
In the hope of discovering something new I asked him, “How did you start gardening?”
He answered my question by talking about his wife. She grew up on a farm and she was the real gardener. (I did not know this.) I asked a couple of follow-up questions and he might have talked to me all day but my restless dog pulled me away.
As I walked away two thoughts struck me. 1. A little curiosity goes a long way. 2. My neighbors love to chat. I’ve lived in the same neighborhood for almost three decades and I am still discovering new tidbits about my neighbors.
Good hospitality starts with a little curiosity and a listening ear. Maybe you could test out my theory. Strike up a conversation with someone new, be curious, and listen. I imagine that this kind of hospitality will open the door to deeper love of God and neighbor. Let me know how it goes.
PS This is not my neighbor and not his cabbage but if you saw a giant cabbage wouldn’t you want to know more??
Pastor of Teaching & Leadership
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