The last two days i have been with the UK team doing some training together in preparation for a course we are running next week. It was a really special time together, everything from great meals, workshops, devotionals bible studies and even a 21st birthday celebration that had us each bringing a song or recital to the group. I shared the very profound Gnu song by Flanders and Swan, people were visibly moved… if you’re not sure what i am referring to, check out this clip. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afdsL23fa5s
Often during these training days and courses, i have a moment where something comes into sharp focus for me and i see things freshly and am challenged. For me it was during a devotional bible study of hospitality. We read the incredible story of Elijah and the widow, in which during a harsh famine, Elijah asks her for hospitality as she makes the last meal for herself and her son, expecting then to die of hunger. Miraculously, as she gives the prophet food and lodging, the three are able to eat for several weeks until the famine breaks.
As i read that story it wasn’t the widow that challenged me but Elijah. I realised that i absolutely hate asking for hospitality. I don’t have too much trouble receiving it if someone offers – i will usually want to double check, but actually taking the initiative and asking…… aaaargh!! Even as i write i can feel a ball of tension form in my stomach. I have a deep aversion to the possibility that i might be asking too much of someone. This is a bit of my journey, believing that it is in fact true that there are people who are willing and pleased to help and show me hospitality when i ask.
This weekend i am staying at Pete and Titi’s and i am so grateful.