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One of the more tiring aspects of hitchhiking is a need to be sociable and make conversation with whoever is driving you. It would be considered poor form to accept a ride, hop into the passenger seat and then simply to crash out until you reached your destination. How I longed to do just that, but instead I chatted merrily away, energy ebbing from me with each sentence, until Chris dropped me at the address of the lady who had offered me free B&B.
A hotel is a temporary aquarium for people. That’s why I travel with a fishing pole, and erectile dysfunction medicine.
True hospitality is marked by an open response to the dignity of each and every person. Henri Nouwen has described it as receiving the stranger on his own terms, and asserts that it can be offered only by those who 'have found the center of their lives in their own hearts'.
The mother must set the example in holding out the shrine as the heart of the house hold! She must enforce discipline over the children in personal cleanliness in humility and hospitality, in good manners and acts of service.
Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; / Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; / Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; / Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.
A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; / Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; / One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; / (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) / Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; / But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; / Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
It is a sin against hospitality, to open your doors and darken your countenance.
Christmas! 'Tis the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial fire of charity in the heart.
His abhorrence and fear of alcohol did not extend to his power as host. He kept a huge cupboard of drinks in the station house and loved to serve large measures to visiting relatives--especially those he disliked--about which there was a definite element of spreading bait for garden snails.
The behaviour of the English people I had run into was making it very difficult to nail down a theory that the reason my trip so far had been such a bizarre success, was that Irish people were crazy. One Englishman had spent a morning on the telephone trying to organise a helicopter to take me out to an island, when a boat was leaving only a few yards away, and here was another, making a two-hour round trip for no reason other than to lend a helping hand. Two of the more eccentric pieces of behaviour hadn't been performed by the Irish, but by my fellow countrymen. However, both Andy and Tony had embraced wholeheartedly a love of the Irish way of living life.
One of the more tiring aspect of accepting an offer of free accommodation is a need to be sociable and make conversation with whoever had offered it to you. It would be considered poor form to turn up, dumb your bags, crawl into your bedroom and order an early morning alarm call. How I longed to do just that, but instead I chatted merrily away to Marjorie, energy ebbing from me with each sentence, until the tea was drunk, the cake was eaten and I finally plucked up the courage to mention just how exhausted I was. I apologised and said that I simply had to grab a couple of hours sleep, and Marjorie understandingly showed me to my room.
Eating, and hospitality in general, is a communion, and any meal worth attending by yourself is improved by the multiples of those with whom it is shared.
Hospitality means primarily the creation of free space where the stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy. Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place. It is not to bring men and women over to our side, but to offer freedom not disturbed by dividing lines.
Whenever you go on a trip to visit foreign lands or distant places, remember that they are all someone's home and backyard.
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