Max has been a bit of an orphan this past month. I was out of town on various trips for about 4 straight weeks and sadly could not take him with me.
But thankfully so many people were willing to take care of him.
I mean, who could resist this face, right?
And though I missed him while we were miles away from each other, he continued to teach me about the importance of hospitality.
The people taking care of Max gave of themselves and welcomed Max into their lives. This loving action not only made my life easier, knowing that he is being taken care of, but it also made Max’s life better. He now knows so many more people love him (not that he is lacking in that awareness) and he was able to share life with them too.
Max taught me that hospitality is welcoming people into your life (even sometimes at a moment’s notice) and caring for them. And this is something that is done not only during trips or at big events, but also in everyday life. As I greet Max every morning I can be vulnerable and give myself for him to make him feel loved. I can welcome anyone I meet throughout my day into my life and show them I care for them.
Max taught me that hospitality is about being generous with time and life. It is about knowing that we impact our neighbors in a positive way when we open wide our doors or in a negative way when we shut them out. And while hospitality can often be most felt when we have no other doors open to us, I am learning more and more to be generously open to anyone passing by my life at any time.
In this sense, Max taught me that hospitality is a disposition of loving openness combined with the actions of welcoming and taking time to show care to another. That can look like sharing a drink or meal, offering a listening ear, telling someone they do belong here, or even taking care of a dog for a week or two.
So thank you Max for teaching me to be more aware of the ways I can extend hospitality to all I meet. And, more importantly, thank you to all who have shown me some form of hospitality – either by taking care of Max or by the many other ways I’ve been welcomed into your lives.