Beauty flows through, but does not originate in, the physical realm. We see this so clearly in the beauty of hospitality.
Have some more!
Make yourself at home!
The words of generosity must be paired with a generous heart, or they are meaningless.
A host with a stingy heart may speak words of welcome and offer you wonderful food, but inwardly begrudges every bite you take. Despite all attempts to praise and thank such a person, you perceive their resentment. You end up feeling ill. (Proverbs 23:6-7)
Hypocrisy ruins our experience of a place or a meal.
But one with an unselfish heart can offer even simple fare with red carpet treatment, obviously delighting in your comfort, enjoyment and refreshment. Your gratitude falls on open ears. Blessings flow both ways. You end up full, content and rested.
Genuine hospitality elevates an everyday encounter.
I have experienced both kinds of hosts, as I am sure you have. As I plan for upcoming holiday hosting, I want to keep my focus on opening my heart, not just my home. I love all the planning and details of decorating, whether it’s my house or my cookies. It’s easy for me to forget that my heart and my love are far more important to my guests. Why this is, I don’t know, because it seems so silly a statement to write. Of course love is more important than perfect icing! Yet I forget all the same. Perhaps some of you do, too.
So, I offer this reminder, for all of us.
Beauty flows through, but does not originate in, the physical realm. Let that thought free you.