The message of radical love. The shining truth of blessings through sacrifice. The incredible example of following Christ no matter the cost.
Several lines keep ringing in my heart. Like this:
Our actual theology is best expressed in our actual hospitality.
Hospitality is Life with no Gates.
I've grappled with the implications of Ann Voskamp's words.Hospitality means if there is room in the heart--there is room in the house.
...So what I believe is best demonstrated by what I do.
This isn't new. No, I've heard this before.
"Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says....The man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it--he will be blessed in what he does." -James 1: 22, 25And that's not all James, the half-brother of Jesus, had to say about it. Speaking about Abraham's example of doing what God said when he offered his son Isaac on the alter, he declared:
"You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did." -James 2:22Am I listening to God's Word and then doing it? This is the question.
"Love one another." It's all over the Bible. Jesus is in the business of love and he wants us to be his partner, protege, padawon.
Then there is this that also reverberates in my soul:
"My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."-John 15:12-13Clearly Jesus is the greatest example of sacrificial love to the point of a gruesome death on the cross for our redemption. Since I don't believe he's asking us to lay down our physical lives, what else about "life" might he be asking us, me, to lay down for the sake of loving my friends?
My comfort. My desires. My convenience. My preference. My pleasure. My will. My way.
It's amazing how when you ask God to SHOW you HOW to demonstrate your actual theology though actual hospitality, to show you HOW to love others and lay down your life, HE WILL DO IT!
He gave me the opportunity to extend an invitation to out of town family to stay in our home with us. Yes, we're already 5 people in a 2 bedroom house and squeezing in 4 more will take some creativity and flexibility, but Hospitality means if there is room in the heart--there is room in the house.
Then God gave me the opportunity to watch my niece and two nephews for several hours. Yes, my husband was working, and yes that meant having 6 kids 8 years oldand under (5 of them boys!). But Hospitality is Life with no Gates.
And that's just the beginning...
I share this not because I am awesome and always obey when God gives opportunities to clearly follow him. (Because I don't.) I share this because I am excited about this journey. Excited for what it means to love radically. Excited to put aside my own comfort to follow Christ's call to love.
It's absolutely amazing how God is using Katie to radically love children in Uganda. I'm encouraged and inspired by her example.
But in Ann's beautiful words:
Living radical isn’t about where you live — it’s about how you love.
It’s about realizing– Love doesn’t happen when you arrive in a certain place. It happens when your heart arrives in a certain place – wherever you are, right where you are, dirt road Africa or side street America.