Last year, I read the book Radical Hospitality: Benedict’s Way of Love by Lonni Collins Pratt and David Homan.
Today, feeling a little tired and tested, I re-read some of the quotes I wrote down and one leaped off the page to be shared (actually, it is a fantastic book, so numerous leaped off the page, but I will share just this one for now).
“Gratitude is at the center of a hospitable heart.
It keeps everything in perspective. Often we allow day
after gifted day to come and go without one sigh of gratitude for the beauty of it all.
We don’t slow our breath to hear the song of the wind, or
taste the miracle of an apple. We take for granted the health of the little
ones who sleep in their beds, and we assume the one who loves me today will be
here to love me again tomorrow. What an arrogant life we lead (162)…
Gratitude happens most often during suffering, loss, and other really hard stuff; it is
the leading edge of joy. It happens when the big reality hits you.
You have no more right to be loved than anyone else…
Your children have no more right to health and security than the children in Bosnia.
Your friends are not obligated to put up with you…
It is all a gift.
Every single molecule, every smile, every taste of sunshine is a gift.
Gratitude opens up space inside of us for others.
There is less of me in me when I am grateful. I can see that you, too, are a
gift to me. Even if you aren’t easy to be around (163-164).
Regardless of circumstances, we are so blessed. Max was a struggle at the grocery store this morning and I seemed to have shorter patience than normal – just wanting to get in and out – but perspective says, “I was AT a grocery store, with the money to buy delicious, healthy food for my family; strong arms to carry full bags, a car to drive them home in and a home in which to cook.”
We are hosting Life Group tonight and the Lord has realigned my heart this afternoon to prepare our home for guests to the best of my ability so they feel welcomed and loved as if He Himself will greet them at the door.