Hospitality shows itself at its finest

I was excited to receive an invitation to a retirement party for a very close friend. She was hosting the party herself and it was by invitation only. Knowing her out-of-state family would be there, I sincerely hoped to be able to meet them in person as I felt I knew each one in some way just through our many conversations.

The party would actually start at five o’clock but I was to come at four o’clock and we would start getting things out. That didn’t surprise me because we often worked together and were a good team. “Be there by four o’clock.” (Very specific.} I had never been to her house so she also told me, “If you get lost, call me, and I will find you.”

Well, I did get lost and I did call. Together we figured out what I had done wrong and I arrived soon after. It was just a case of not following directions carefully enough.

Somehow, the part about getting things out just never happened. Others had done that and were taking care of details. My friend was free to greet guests as they began arriving at five o’clock. Then, I began to put the untold story together.

I was to come early so there would be time for me to meet her family, whom I knew only through our many conversations, as well as the few other guests I wouldn’t know.

Though it was her well-earned party for having completed 40 years in ministry and, therefore, she was the honored guest, she honored me throughout the evening in so many ways – come at an earlier time than others, “Lost? I’ll find you,” there are comfortable chairs on the deck if you want to come out. She was right beside me along with one of her sisters when I couldn’t get out of a chair where we were seated under the tent. I felt honored in so many ways all evening though I was definitely the old lady of the evening.

I hope my attitudes and behaviors are as gracious to others as she was to me on HER special evening. I can still learn a lot from her despite the 25-year age gap between us.

One thing I’ve learned – that age difference doesn’t really make much difference between Christians. Piling up years in biological age is just a number. Maturing in one’s Christian life is what Christ wants from us so that each of us becomes a living testimony for His love.

Accept Christ. Then, live for Him and display His invitation and hospitality. There’s no better time than today. “Now is the day of salvation.” (II Cor. 6:2)