To make room means more than emptying a dresser drawer so the guest has a place to put her things. Hospitality begins with the host making room mentally, emotionally, and spiritually for the other. The process begins with a mental checklist to scan oneself for any internal agendas or personal motives. The checklist includes an examination of one’s feelings—joy, sorrow, fear, love, hate, anxiety—and how conscious the self is of those feelings. Consider how such feelings might affect our experience with the guest.
Once we’ve gone through this checklist, the next step is to make a spiritual connection—between ourselves and the work of the Holy Spirit. In this step, the Holy Spirit does the work of opening and transforming the heart, making room in it for the other. Now, the host is ready to give over the room to the other for as long as she or he needs it.
Read the story of the Shunammite woman in 2 Kings 4:8–17.
- How did the woman know what and whom to prepare for?
- For what or for whom are you making room?
- Ponder the question Elisha asked the woman in verse 13 “…what may be done for you?”
Tomorrow: Making ready