I love opening my heart and home to others, but sometimes I can let the details of the event overshadow the reason I’m opening my home in the first place.
If you’re like me, you’ve probably thought: I can’t open my home because it stresses me out!
When my husband and I first embarked on this monthly hospitality journey to strengthen our church plant, we realized we were missing out on some big opportunities to connect with visitors to our church.
So, we tossed our plan to host a sit down lunch for 8 (the max my dining room table would hold) and threw open the doors of our home to whomever God brought our way. We wanted to welcome any and all guests to our church to a monthly Sunday lunch in our home.
I wish I could say I entered into this new plan without fear or reservation.
But I’m a worrier by nature, and so I began to have some second thoughts. Those tendencies to obsess over the details of seating arrangements and place settings still crouched in the recesses of my mind – only this time they whispered seemingly innocuous little questions.
“You have no idea how many people are eating at your house tomorrow?”
“So, it could be 8 or 28? What will happen if you run out of food?”
“Maybe you should run to the store on your way home from church? Just pick up a couple more bags of chips at least.”
For me, worrying about the details of hospitality is the easy part; trusting God to orchestrate the event for his glory is another thing entirely.
But I’ve opened my home enough to learn that over-thinking the details of hospitality can yield some very negative fruit. Stressing about details can leave me cranky toward my family. It can also ensure I’m emotionally and physically spent after my guests leave.
Lord of the Details
Yet, if we are careful to commit our plans to the Lord, we will catch a marvelous glimpse of the God who is Lord over the Details.
About halfway through our meal, I surveyed my house. I counted 15 adults and 7 children. We had so many people that I had to turn my dining room table sideways and add another folding table to the room.
Small groups of people were talking in corners, around the table, and on the couch. I heard little bits of conversations about faith and life, as I serve more coffee, stepping over children and stuffed animals sprawled on the floor. And while there wasn’t a seat at the table for everyone, everyone had a place.
My second hospitality lunch brought me this conclusion: there is beauty in the details of hospitality. But that beauty comes not because of carefully-arranged centerpieces or new tablecloths (big shout out to my mom who bought me a new one in honor of my party though!).
Biblical hospitality is beautiful because God’s hand is in the details. His hands guide guests to your door. His hands shape conversations. And most importantly, his hands make beautiful things out of messes and mess-ups.
So, even though at one point I looked around and both of my kids were missing an essential piece of clothing (one a shirt and the other his pants!!!!!), I knew that the details of hospitality bore marks of beauty.
What our earthly eyes can mistake as inconveniences, pressures, or embarrassing moments, the God of Details views as moments of beauty. My home became a safe and comforting place because the God of Comfort was there.
If I had been overcome and undone by the details of preparing a meal, I would have missed what the Lord of Details was doing in the life of my church:
– Saving a family from darkness. One of my lunch guests visited our church after making a profession of faith this very week! Over lunch, the couple was able to have some one-on-one time with our pastor to discuss next steps, baptism and more.
– Encouraging a family already grounded in the faith. Another family with young boys was able to connect with new, like-minded friends.
– Allowing new members to utilize their gifts in serving the body of Christ. Some of my lunch guests are still new to our church plant. Yet, they helped serve, bring a dish, and clean up.
– Proving a safe place for a family seeking out what it means to know God personally.
When we set aside the stress of hospitality and offer our homes as places of spiritual renewal, we receive the special blessing of seeing God orchestrate the littlest of details in very big ways.
The Spirit was at work in my home and I got to see it and savor it. What a blessing to see him move in the place I love most.
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.” Eccl. 3:11
Do you avoid opening your home because the details stress you out too much? What do you do to trust the God of the Details?
If you hurry, you still have time to enter the giveaway for the Easter Story Eggs & Devotional – a wonderful tool to lead your family closer to our Risen King!