Spiritual practices always require discernment. We need to figure out how to strike a balance so that we don’t overdo or under-do. Hospitality takes place in three different movements: in, with, and out—and we need to balance between the three. Welcoming God’s love and compassion into our hearts through sacred dialogue and centering prayer are inward practices. They develop space inside us for God to live.
Once we have a foundation for hospitality between ourselves and the God of Love, we are in a position to offer hospitality to family, friends, neighbors, strangers and even our enemies.
The inward part is what allows us to become receptive. It’s about being open toward others and ourselves.
The second part is what happens between us and others. When we are invitational, people respond to our openness and suddenly we are in a position to welcome them.
Receptivity and reverence toward others leads to the desire to give. Practicing generosity is the third part—the outward element. It is a posture of nurture through which we offer physical, spiritual, and emotional care and gratitude.
Strive to strike a balance between these three elements. It is then that hospitality becomes most transformative.
Today we remember Dag Hammarskjold, renewer of society (1961). This message was adapted from “Opening Our Hearts” written by Nanette Sawyer that first appeared in the April 2010 issue of Lutheran Woman Today (now Gather) magazine. If you are reading “Daily Grace” online, sign up to receive it by email daily.