Home: A Means of Hospitality

By Jill Noble

by Danielle Dolin

My husband and I have experienced numerous relocations in our thirty-two years together, totaling thirteen moves for our family. Perhaps, in His kindness, the Lord orchestrated these changes to prevent us from becoming overly attached to our physical home, emphasizing its primary purpose: a haven for hospitality. In most of our dwellings, hospitality meant joyfully hosting Bible studies and events, gathering family and guests around our table, and extending welcome to overnight visitors.

In one particular home, after careful consideration, we extended a bold invitation to the director of our local pregnancy resource center. We informed Mary that, under the right circumstances, our home was available to a young girl in need of care and a place to stay. Similar to signing up as a bone marrow donor over 25 years ago, I never anticipated receiving a call and having our offer of extended hospitality accepted.

On an early Saturday morning, seated comfortably in my favorite chair with my computer on my lap, I diligently worked through neglected emails requiring replies, aiming to clear my inbox. While responding to a specific email about volunteering, my phone rang, revealing an ironically timed call from Mary at the pregnancy resource center where I volunteered. Engrossed in thoughts about volunteering, I ignored her call. Instead of leaving a voicemail, Mary sent a text seconds later:

“We have a young girl in need of your help. Social worker won’t leave until she and baby have a safe place to go.”

Chills surfaced all over me as I realized Mary was accepting our significant offer of hospitality. In that moment, I sensed God urging me to be available, trust Him, and say “yes” to inviting unknown and needy individuals into our home for an unspecified period.

Feeling unprepared, I understood the Lord wasn’t asking me to entertain this woman and her baby; He was calling me to offer hospitality. To open our home with warmth and generosity for what He had entrusted to us.

Within an hour, my husband and I stood in a Walmart parking lot, meeting a frightened 18-year-old and her tiny two-week-old baby girl. The social worker introduced us as we warmly greeted this scared teenager. With her newborn baby, she entered our van and hearts that morning. We were bringing them home.

Hospitality is a substantial investment of time, energy, and resources. For some, it pushes us well beyond our comfort zones. Yet, opening our homes and inviting others in, whether for a single cup of coffee or six months of care, exemplifies the kindness of extravagant love. We love one another because God first loved us and showed us how.

Jill Noble is a Christian writer, speaker, and entrepreneur. Marked by grace and lots of physical scars, Jill is a spunky, thankful-hearted girl with nearly bionic ankles and a titanium hip. Jill and her husband live on a peaceful acreage in Wisconsin not too far from their four adult children. On her rural sanctuary, Jill enjoys gardening, fourteen pet chickens, and an adorable mini-sheepadoodle named Phoebe. A sipper of tea, Jill finds great pleasure in celebrations big and small, dark chocolate, and offering hope-filled words to fellow sojourners. Please read along with her at jillnoble.me.

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