When I made dinner for myself, I frequently ate cheese and crackers or guacamole and chips, but when I had friends over, I made a meal that made my friends feel special, cared for. I got to thinking: I wouldn’t serve others makeshift dinners – why did I serve them to myself? I realized that on some level, I’d thought that cooking – caring – for myself, a single person, was a waste of time.
Growing up in the church, it was easy to fall into the trap of thinking that I wouldn’t be a whole person until I had a family of my own. Church programs and illustrations often feel focused on children and families, without much that speaks to the uncoupled among us.
I began learning to practice hospitality on myself. I used an attractive plate and a cloth napkin at my solo table. I cooked meals worthy of serving to someone else. Caring for myself changed the way I thought about hospitality.
Self-hospitality is the foundation of our call to welcome others to the table, as Jesus did.
This message is excerpted from “Single-minded hospitality” by Cara Strickland in the October 2020 Gather magazine.
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