The Blessing of Hospitality: Little Touches that Make a Difference!

It was Easter weekend and the card came in the mail. A beautiful card, simply signed, “Virginia.”

She wrote a note that began: Dear Friends.

Dear friends? How can she call us “dear friends” when we always seem to be so busy? Our lives are sometimes utter chaos, as we barely wave to her when we pass her house. Aren’t dear friends ones who have regular access to our lives? Who are there with you in thick and thin? I was so touched by the sincerity of this card from my neighbor.

Then the phone call came.

A message was left by Virginia saying, “I’m home now!”

The sad part is I wasn’t even aware that she was gone. It was at that point that I began to feel convicted, because this generous woman clearly loved and needed our family more than we knew.

Virginia’s gift for hospitality has blessed our family now for 4 years. When we moved into this home, I went around our neighborhood introducing myself and our family. I exchanged phone numbers and in Virginia’s case, I told her if she EVER needed anything to call me. And she has several times, and we have helped her in various ways.

The word “hospitality” seems to be a scary word for many. Because in our busyness I believe we are fearful of a commitment, or a taking away from “us” time.

The blessing of hospitality, and I’ve tried to teach it to my children, can be as simple as taking a piece of leftover cake or pie to your neighbor. Or like today when I took a red planted pot down to Virginia and left it by her front door. It’s this kind of hospitality that doesn’t have anything to do with whether you have a home, the state of your home, or the expectations in your home.

It’s important to make others feel loved and special, especially the lonely who may feel sad inside. It’s the little touches that make a difference in lonely lives.

Hospitality has nothing to do with gourmet food, a perfect home, or even perfect timing. It sometimes starts with a spark, thinking about others first, and then acting on that idea by following through with a blessing. It’s about friendliness, a caring attitude, and sometimes that means putting the grumbling aside.

And on this day, it was about spending $5 for a pot and a few pansies to give to Virginia.

When’s the last time you showed loved to a neighbor by stepping outside of your comfort zone?

10 comments on “The Blessing of Hospitality: Little Touches that Make a Difference!”

  1. Pingback: Reluctant Entertainer 2011 Round-Up - Reluctant Entertainer I Sandy Coughlin - Lifestyle, Entertaining, Food, Recipes, Hospitality and Gardening

  2. This isn’t about neighbors, just about you saying Hospitality isn’t all about gourmet meals, etc. Years ago, two sisters invited me and my roommate over for dinner – it was canned Campbell’s soup and Pillsbury biscuits. We had a fantastic time and I loved that they invited us over on their very tight budget! It was a lesson I have never forgotten! Although there is something nice about going the extra mile for a guest, it is not necessary when the focus is on connection!

  3. We know most of the neighbors around us, however, there is a couple who just moved in a few months ago and before I could introduce myself I became annoyed by their barking dogs. They are both gone all day so the dogs are free to bark–all day–and they do. It’s hard to talk to them about the issue because I don’t want that to be our first encounter…just doesn’t seem right. Soooo, I am planning a batch of cookies just for them so we can meet pleasantly. In the meanwhile, I’m praying for a heart of hospitality to replace my aggravation to be able to welcome them to the neighborhood.

  4. Pingback: Won’t You Be My Neighbor? | Heaven In The Home

  5. Great post. We too don’t see our neighbors often…there’s an acre or two between houses and most work. But you have inspired me to at least do something for someone.

  6. You’ve inspired me….I think I’ll get a few potted plants {or something sweet} for a couple of special neighbors that really are there for us whenever I call! Simple and yet so kind and thoughtful. I am so thankful for them!

    Becky B.
    http://www.organizingmadefun.blogspot.com
    Organizing Made Fun

  7. Sandy thank you for this post. I have been needing to connect again with a neighbor who’s family is across the country from them. And I love to do just what you did, leave a little sunshine on somone’s door step. When the boys were growing up we always did May Day flowers for our neighbor who was in her 80’s, and she was always so gracious. This is just the push I needed, now if the rain and wind will stop, I already have the flats of Pansies, my wife loves them and I fill our flower beds with them for her every spring. And I saw the cutest way to pot them. On a blog I saw where she bought inexpensive clay pots, and then painted the top rim with chalk board paint and wrote what the plant was on the rim. I think I will write a little word of encouragement on it!!! Thanks again for reminding us all to reach out!
    Blessings to you and yours
    Curtis & Sherrie

  8. We never see our neighbors here- it’s so odd and feels so un-American! So we just take things to the ladies who guard the door downstairs and those in the grocery store.

  9. WIth the spring weather, our neighbors are coming outside more. I’m making it a priority to meet them! Thanks for the encouragement.

  10. We definitely need to extend ourselves more to our neighbors. We have wonderful people around us and I seem to only connect with them as I am walking Claire.

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