By Martha Bush
As a child growing up on a farm in Southwest Georgia, it was not uncommon for family and friends to drop in for an unexpected visit. It was also not uncommon for my mother to greet them at the door with a smile on her face and say: “Come on in. Y’all just sit down and talk to Roy, (my daddy) and I will have supper ready in one hour.”
And, as they would say in Georgia: “I guarantee you that in one hour flat,” a spread would be on her table, consisting of three vegetables, 2 meats, macaroni and cheese, and oh yeah, fried corn bread. Guests would remark: “My goodness gracious! I never met anybody that could whip up this much vittles in such a short period of time.”
What really amazed me was that Mother never sat down to eat with her guests. She was up serving them - filling their tea glasses before it got empty, and continuously saying: “Y’all eat now, you hear! I’ve got plenty more food left in the pots on the stove.”
And then there were her favorite times of the year – Thanksgiving and Christmas. Oh, my goodness! She baked tons of finger-licking goodies and cakes on top of cakes, just in case, as she would say, “Company might drop in.”
Yes, Mother definitely had The Gift of Hospitality.
People with this gift can be described as:
- provide an environment where people feel valued and cared for
- meet new people and help them feel welcome
- create a comfortable setting where relationships can develop
- set people at ease in unfamiliar surroundings
- friendly, outgoing, trusting, sociable and relational caring
- they are the greeters at church, the potluck host, hospitality dinner team leader. (Adapted from Cyber-Space Ministries)
During each holiday season, the people with The Gift of Hospitality just seem to “kick it up a notch,” as the famous chef, Emeril, would say. They don’t mind -they love it! It is their passion to serve. And, we ALL get to enjoy their gift.
Back to my Mother - she transitioned from this earth to heaven in 2017. During the last few years of her life, her body no longer allowed her to cook and serve the way it once did. Often I heard her say: “It just kills me that I can’t cook up a big meal like I used to and have a crowd of people sitting around my table.
As we approach the Thanksgiving Holiday season, somehow I believe Mother is “kicking it up a notch” in heaven now that her old bones have been healed upon her arrival. What a Thanksgiving spread she must be preparing to fix for all the heavenly hosts.
I also believe that she has her eyes on those Pearly Gates waiting for all her family and friends to arrive. I can just hear her saying as loved ones enter into heaven joining her: “Come on in. Y’all sit here and talk to Roy and Jesus, and I will have supper ready in one hour.”
Unfortunately, I did not inherit my mother’s cooking genes, especially baking. But, I just have to believe that God places within all of us a touch of The Gift of Hospitality – some more than others perhaps. Why? It just sort of emulates God’s love and compassion. During His public ministry, Jesus and His disciples depended entirely on the hospitality of others as they ministered from town to town.
9 Do not take gold, or silver, or [even] copper money in your money belt,
10 or a provision bag for your journey, or even two tunics, or sandals, or a staff;
for the worker deserves his support. (Matthew 10:9-10 AMP)
My dear SUMite friends, during this Thanksgiving season, may we look for areas within our family and friends in which we can serve. Let’s join together in prayer for one another to make it a time to emulate God’s love and compassion, especially to our unsaved loved ones.
For starters, I have already set my table, (see image) and got my cornbread dressing cooked and in the freezer.
Let's talk in the comments:
1. Name some ways you can emulate God's love and compassion during this season, especially to your unsaved loved ones.
2. If you have concerns of relating well with some of your friends or relatives who will be sitting at your Thanksgiving table, let’s talk it out, and pray about those concerns ahead of time.