What can transform a group of nine sweaty, grungy, hungry and tired men into refreshed, satisfied and happy campers?  Is there an elixir that can reenergize a group of adventurers to look forward to another day of travel?  The world is looking for such a magical potion.  I have one to suggest.

God ordained that hospitality is a wonderful gift to offer to weary travelers.  The word “hospitality” actually means “love of strangers.”  Please note that it does not mean to love those who are strange! 

The term comes from a historical episode among early persecuted Christians.  When religious persecution drove many believers from the homes, they sought refuge in distant lands with family and friends.  Often such a journey required many days of travel. 

Such weary pilgrims were to be the object of Christian love.  Resident believers were to invite these “strangers” into their homes for a night of food and shelter.  Then, they were to send them on their way.  This gift of refreshment and encouragement is what hospitality is all about.

I finished our first leg of a long motorcycle journey.  The first day is always a bit tough with getting used to the riding, heat and packing.  That’s when the wonder of hospitality revived us. 

Bush and Sarah invited us into their home.  It’s been a year since we enjoyed each others company.  They were expecting us.  Dinner was on the table.  But, even before that their smiles drew us in.  Sarah hugged every unshowered sweaty hulk of a man.  She was delighted to give us that warm embrace.

The food was wonderful.  Sarah has great munchies before dinner.  Guy food is plentiful.  Beverages chase away the parched throat.  Conversation is catching up, laughing over old stories and dreams of days and blessings to come.

My life journey has taken me into many homes.  Some you feel the guarded polite welcome.  Others you know that it is a place where you will never return.  But, then there is that unusual place that makes you hope that you will be able to come back.

That lasting and lingering effect is what real hospitality is all about.  It is a gift.  People who have it give it away just because it is a part of them.  God made them that way and He smiles on them and all of us who are blessed enough to be blessed by them. 

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