And it fell on a day, that Elisha passed to Shunem, where was a great woman; and she constrained him to eat bread. And so it was, that as oft as he passed by, he turned in thither to eat bread. And she said unto her husband, Behold now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God, which passeth by us continually. Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither. (2 Kings 4:8-10 KJV)
Not all of us have the means to build “a little chamber” and furnish it for a traveling preacher – but wouldn’t it be nice? That is hospitality above our cultural level. But, we do invite people into our homes – unless we live in CHAOS!!!
That’s an acronym. One I’ve used as the full statement when I believed my house was a mess (and it often is – to me) and I simply Couldn’t Have Anyone Over. It’s a Syndrome. Yep, that CHAOS. Mrs. Terrie Chappell gave us that acronym, but I recognized the syndrome.
For Christian women, if we don’t believe we live up to Proverbs 31, we simply can’t have anyone over until everything is picked up, put in the right place, cleaned, polished, decorated correctly – but that’s ridiculous, isn’t it? We respond to invitations and assure the lady of the house that having the dog food bowls in the kitchen aren’t a problem. We kiss the child with the chocolate-covered face and love them before and after the chocolate is wiped away.
I am reminded of a missionary I heard speak in North Carolina in 1960. She and her husband ministered to migrants who made the trip from south to north picking the ripened fields along the way. She and her husband had served their ministry a short while before a migrant family asked them to join them in their evening meal. It was a huge step, and she was not expecting the same lifestyle she lived.
The differences between their lifestyles were much more than the mismatched, cracked dinnerware. That was made evident when the lady opened a can of dog food instead of a can of hash, heated it on a wood fire and shared with her family and the visitors. Yes, our missionary ate the same meal as those in her ministry.
Tell me, is our personal CHAOS similar to this situation? Are you concerned about being an example in a mission conference? If so – and even your home truly is chaos – would you deprive someone of being a blessing to you. Would you deprive them of receiving a blessing, too?
Hospitality isn’t even showing our very best. It is accepting people into our home in the same manner Jesus accepts us into His kingdom. The thief on the cross simply asked to be remembered – and Jesus accompanied him to Paradise. When Jesus is our daily companion as Savior, let us open our homes as we have opened our hearts. What better place to share Him with people who wish to spend time with us?