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. Ya’ll 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: “You can bet your sweet britches 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: “I never met anybody that could whip up that 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: “Ya’ll eat now, you hear! I’ve got plenty more food left in the pots in the kitchen.”
And then there was her favorite time of the year – 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.
What do we mean by The Gift of Hospitality?
First of all, let us be reminded from the scriptures that we are all “God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works” (Ephesians 2:10).
But, there is something about that gift of hospitality! 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 (Matthew 10:9-10).
People with this gift can be described as:
- provide an environment where people feel valued and cared for
- meet new people and help them to 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 seems 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 all the other things on the list that go with it. And we ALL get to enjoy their gift.
Back to my Mother - she transitioned from this earth to heaven on April 22 of this year. 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. I especially miss baking Christmas goodies for my family.” (Boy, did I miss her specialty for me—ice box fruit cake.)
That, my friend, is The Gift of Hospitality that was still in her heart. Once God gives you a gift, no matter what it is, the passion for it never leaves you, because that was the way He created you to serve others and bring honor to Him.
Somehow I believe Mother is “kicking it up a notch” in heaven this year now that her old bones have been healed upon her arrival. What a Christmas spread she must be fixing 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:
“Ya’ll come on in. Now, ya’ll sit here and talk to Roy and Jesus, and I will have supper ready in one hour flat.”
Merry Christmas from all of us at Created Woman
And a special “Merry Christmas to you, Mother.”
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