I have no doubt that you are better than I am at reaching out. You might seek out the new person at Sunday worship and offer a sincere welcome. You might invite the new neighbor over because that’s what neighbors do. This is a challenge for me. “I’m an introvert,” I want to cry out, but I know there is more to it than that.
Sometimes we not only act inhospitably, we ignore others’ loneliness and pain. Perhaps the tendency to be inhospitable or ignore others has to do with preferring the familiarity of those we know.
Many women have modeled true hospitality to me through the years. I also turn to the Scriptures and pray. I look to Blind Bartimaeus (Mark 11:46-52) to teach me about persistence and praise. The bent-over woman (Luke 13:10-17) shows me what it’s like to bear the burdens of the world on her back and stand tall with a new view of others.
This message was adapted from “Reach Out and Touch Whom?” by Julie B. Sevig that appeared in the January/February 2002 issue of Lutheran Woman Today (now Gather) magazine.