One of Joie and my favorite people on the planet is Margie Haack of Rochester, MN. She and her husband Denis (who is also pretty OK in our book) run Ransom Fellowship and did our premarital counseling last spring, which was one of the more delightful experiences I’ve ever had. Here she is writing at The High Calling as part of their Everything Matters series.
As we waited for an answer, I had a wash of fright. If I had known that their decor was Persian wool rugs and teak furniture, would I ever presume to invite them to our home for canned baked beans and “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”? That whole evening as we sat around drinking from crystal with me admitting no, I’ve never heard of Mahjong, I went over what did we want our lives to reflect when we invited people to eat with us?
I learned from that experience that the art of hospitality doesn’t belong only to professionals; it more truly belongs to amateurs and lovers who delight in God and who want to walk spiritually with others. If I wanted to participate in the process of healing and cultural redemption, that meant, above all things, that I could not, would not, practice hospitality for the sake of impressing. Os Guiness writes that “as we make our contribution along the line of our gifts and callings, and others do the same, there is both a fruitfulness and a rest in the outcome…and we can rest in doing what we can without pretending we are more than the little people we plainly are.”
I’ve never been against such things, but I didn’t need a Viking Range after all, and I didn’t need to know the meaning of frisée (curly endive) to serve the gift of comfort and a sense of the wonder for simple pleasures.