My Grandma Miller was wonderful at gathering people together. As a child, I greatly reaped the benefits of her gifting, although I did not realize she was displaying a biblical characteristic. I see now that her hospitality was one of the greatest things about her. I want to live in that legacy and pass it onto the next generation.
Growing up, I got to see my out-of-state grandparents about 3 times per year. In the spring, we visited their Arizona house for the whole week of spring break. Grandma always had clean beds for us, a meal cooking after we arrived from our day of travel, new toiletries for us to use, and a pantry stocked full of fun things for her grandchildren.
In the summertime, they provided a two-week long vacation on Lake Huron for all of their children and grandchildren. And every other year as the air chilled we celebrated Christmas for a week or so in their Ohio home. This almost guaranteed a white Christmas, a fireplace blazing, clean beds, warm meals, treats, Christmas gifts, music, and a lot of old family stories passed along to us, a tradition that makes me long for less technologically driven days.
I do not know much about my grandmother’s personality type. Whether she was an introvert or extrovert, I am not sure, but she was so very good at gathering. She made guests in her home always feel comfortable and lacking in nothing. As I have grown both in my Christian faith, as well as my role as mother and wife, I have noticed that gathering people together has been thrust upon me. My husband and I have been given dozens of opportunities to host people in our home for various events, and I know there are hundreds of more opportunities before us.
I find my innermost introvert come to light when I prepare to gather people in my home. I get very nervous, wanting everything to be just right. If something has not been perfectly cleaned, if I do not have ‘enough’ snacks for my guests to enjoy, I get so nervous that I flirt with the idea of canceling the event. While it seems so irrational to say out loud, it is truly a battle I have within myself, and I have a feeling I am not alone in this.
In spite of my introvert tendencies, I read passages like Proverbs 31:20-22, describing a godly woman and am inspired. This chapter is laced with hints of hospitality and caring for those who enter her household. “She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.”
There are hundreds of ways we, as Christians, get to extend the love of Christ to those He has put before us. Gathering and comforting people in my life is not only something the Lord has given me the opportunity for, but He has also given me with many examples of women who have done this for me. Regardless if things feel perfect for gathering in my home, I believe I am called to do it. I was blessed for so many years with the opportunity to be cared for in this way by my grandparents, parents, and many brothers and sisters in the Church. As Christians, we are called to be hospitable and loving towards everyone. What an amazing opportunity we have to share the love of Christ by caring for people in this way! As long as the Lord gives me the opportunity to have a warm home to invite people in, I deeply desire to do so and bring Him glory.
As is the case with many things in the Christian life, we may not always feel comfortable doing the things God calls us to (hello inner-introvert!), but He will equip us. As Ephesians 4:11-12 reminds us we all have our role to play, “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.”