Hospitality is inconvenient. From the crisis of Syrian refugees fleeing to Europe, to the debate over illegal immigration in the U.S., letting people in isn’t always the easiest. With politics aside, being a refuge for people is important. It starts with each of us individually, where we are, with who we know.
It’s hard to watch the news and not feel helpless. Millions of people fleeing for their lives, looking for safety. Wanting to do something, but unable to do anything.
It’s not easy solution either. Countries face real challenges with threats to security, lack of funding, and shifts in economy.
It’s easy to say other people should do more, but it’s harder when the decision lands on us. Whether it comes to the values and views of our own country, or the convenience of our own personal lives, it’s hard to make room for others.
I don’t have an answer. But here are some thoughts to move us in that direction.
Can We Strive to Be Number One in Our Hospitality?
Nations strive to be greater, if not the greatest. In America, we seek to be the wealthiest economy and the strongest military. We strive to win in technology, trade, education, media, and numerous other measurements of a countries greatness.
What if we aimed to be the most hospitable country in the world? What if our goal was to be the most generous? What if we were known as a place of refuge and safety?
[bctt tweet=”What if we aimed to be the most hospitable country in the world?”]
Sure, it may not align with our society’s values, I get that. But what if? How would that affect our foreign policy and immigration laws? Sure, there are all the arguments security, employment, taxes, etc…
But if that was our goal, I’m sure we’d find a way.
Can Our Lives Be a Refuge for Others?
The values of an entire nation may be out of your control, but what about you? Would you welcome an outsider into your group, your home, your life?
We live guarded lives. We protect our time, our space, and our relationships.
Social groups are tight-knit. Allowing anyone inside that doesn’t jive would mess up the whole dynamic.
Our business, our church, our home – are all spaces of comfort and familiarity. We don’t want to disrupt that.
We’re so busy that our personal time is sacred. We can’t have anyone taking that away with their interruptions.
But what if someone fleeing from loneliness needed a friend? What if someone fleeing from pain needed a place to rest? What if someone fleeing from their own internal demons needed an ear to listen? Would you make room for that interruption? Would you be willing to give away convenience for the chance at significance?
[bctt tweet=”Would you be willing to give away convenience for the chance at significance?”]
Nations are made up of people. They’re the collective sum of individuals – their values and actions. Before you ask what you would do to help the refugees if you had the power and resources, ask yourself this: What would you do to be a place of refuge for someone in your personal life?
[bctt tweet=”What would you do to be a place of refuge for someone in your personal life?”]