I love entertaining guests. It’s an excuse to whip up some good eats, make a fun music playlist, and chit chat the night away with old and new friends. Thankfully, I have a husband who appreciates this desire in me, so he supports my efforts to have people over, even if he isn’t as outgoing as I tend to be.
I’ve noticed lately, though, that I’ve started making a lot of excuses for our apartment, that it’s too small for entertaining, that it’s inconveniently located, that parking is a hassle, or that my kitchen is too tiny. I’ll look forward to the day when we have a larger home and can have more guests over, coming up with reasons to avoid doing it now.
But then I think about all the people I know who have used their small homes and minimal resources to make guests feel at home. Schoolmates often made a dorm room comfortably fit a large party, and nobody complained one bit. Some friends of mine were recent immigrants from Africa, and their large family had a small apartment, but they shared what they had with many guests. Their home was always open and welcoming.
I’ve been convicted that instead of postponing my parties, I should be faithful to share what I have now. It’s ironic that we currently live in our largest apartment yet, moving up after 2 previous apartments, and it’s still not large enough for my tastes. It makes me wonder if I’d ever be satisfied enough to be hospitable.
Partly, this is me seeking contentment with where I am and what I have. But it’s also me wanting to be a good steward of the limited resources I have. Jesus explained how we’re all stewards (managers) of the possessions that we’ve been given. Everything belongs to him, but he asks us to manage them for him. When we’re faithful with the small stuff, he knows that we could be trusted with more someday: “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much” (Luke 16:10). I want to faithfully use the home that I have, even if it’s small. And that means I can be hospitable in a lot of ways. It might just take a little creativity.
So last weekend, I took a big step in this direction and invited my book group over to watch a movie and eat dinner at my place. It took some rearranging of furniture, but everybody had a place to sit. And I got to invite the entire group. Sure, it wasn’t a movie theater, but it was much better, if you ask me, because it was my home, a personal place I could share with them.