Beauty n. state of being pleasing to the senses • Liturgy n. work of the people
by Cathy Lee
It was 9:00 p.m. when the doorbell rang. I opened the door to welcome in a young missionary that had just arrived from Uganda. She had called to let me know she would be arriving later than expected, which was not a problem. I invited her in, and after we visited for a while, I showed her to the room that she would be using that night. I explained that I had an early appointment for radiation the next morning, but for her to take her time and not feel she had to be ready to leave when I left. I provided directions to the church where she would be meeting with the Global Women Staff and me. I was a board member at the time, and she was meeting with us to request funds for her humanitarian work with Ugandan women.
In the morning I laid out some simple breakfast foods: yogurt, bread for toast, fruit juice, cereal, and a pot of coffee. I knew she was up when I left, so I shouted up to her that I was leaving and would meet her at the church at 10:00. We had a good meeting with her that morning; she was young, but well prepared to present her petition for help. Before we parted that day, she thanked me profusely for making her so comfortable in my home. And then she said, “You have the gift of hospitality.”
Over the years, I’ve participated in various Bible discussions on the verses that talk about our gifts. I had always struggled trying to decide what gift was mine. I have many abilities, as we all do, and I try to use them to glorify God and to live in His will. But an ability seems a little different than what is mentioned in 1 Corinthians 7:7 which says “each man has his own gift from God.” Before, when I thought about these kinds of passages, I imagined gifts to be music or speaking or art. Something beautiful and public and requiring great talent. I had never thought of hospitality as a gift. The more I pondered on it, though, the more I realized that it was my gift, and—as with any other gift from God—I should use it and do my best to enhance it. In a way, that was the young missionary’s gift to me: to help me find mine.
I feel like Crosscreek as a whole has the gift of hospitality, and that may be why I belong so fully here. I’ve felt this way since I first joined the Crosscreek community. My mother used to come from Omaha, Nebraska to visit us a couple of times a year. She would usually be with us for about three weeks on each visit. We were busy with work and other life stuff, so it could be a little lonely for her some days. But while she was here, some of the retired women from church always came to visit her, bring lunch and spend the afternoon with her. She told me once, that she had always thought the people in Nebraska were the most hospitable people anywhere, but now she knew Alabama had them beat as the best. Of course, I do believe Alabama people are very hospitable, but it really was Crosscreek people that she was talking about. Hospitality comes in many forms, and these ladies brought it to her. I will always be thankful for the beauty and joy they brought to her. And I am glad to know that I
can in turn bring beauty and joy to others.