Sunday, September 23, 2007

MN Musings--4--Hospitality/Ministry

Recently I read a post on the difference between hospitality and entertaining, but now I don't know where it's at, so if it rings a bell with you, let me know and I'll link it.
(edit: ok, here it is. Thanks, ribbit98)

The ladies' retreat really made me think about the ministry of hospitality: of serving others, ministering to them, and bringing solace and healing by putting thought and effort into creating a beautiful place, serving nutritious-delicious food, and being aware of physical needs.

I have been in some very difficult situations in my life when I felt helpless, abandoned, and un-cared-for, so when someone goes to great efforts to create a special environment for me, I melt all over the place with gratitude. And with admiration, because hospitality is not my gift.

It is, however, my cousin Kay's gift, and she was determined to make the environment at the ladies' retreat like a soothing hospital for wounded women.

So we entered the main dining hall under a white archway, to the sound of running water from small fountains nestled among potted plants and a small picket fence. We chose chocolate-fondue treats from among strawberries and marshmallows on skewers, clustered into cute bouquets. We sat down one evening at beautifully laid tables with crocheted doilies and candles, and then a line of trim black-shirted young men* filed out of the kitchen and served us a delicious meal.

Such was the entire place, the entire weekend.

The message of it all was not, "Look how much money we spent," or "Look at how talented I am.' The message was, "This is for you. You are special and loved and cared for."

And that is what hospitality is all about.

*I confess I looked at them and said to my neighbor, "Goodness, I should have brought my daughters along after all."

Quote of the Day:
(another far-too-typical at-our-house conversation)
Steven: Jenny, please go away.
Jenny: You have to say the magic word.
Steven: I already said please.
Jenny: There's three words.
Steven: Please. Go. Away.
Emily: Steven, it's "Please, dear sister."
Jenny: Yep, that's it, but you have to say it, Steven.
Ben: Please, elk sister.
Steven: Please, moose sister.
Ben: White-tail or black-tail?


  1. Bubblingteapot (Laura) has a post about entertaining/hospitality. She copied it from ninasblog. Is that the one you're thinking of?

  2. Just read your last four posts regarding the Borderland Ladies Retreat. I smiled.....A LOT. I also read Darren's blog right before reading yours and smiled then too. When I read the last few sentences of post #4 I thought....exactly....EXACTLY!! It has been such a privledge to be a part of making these retreats happen. So much of what you wrote confirmed once again in my mind that this kind of thing is so needed in our area. As one of my friend said to me after the retreat....."all I have to do is show up and my every need is met"....I am so glad she felt this way. I hope you can come again sometime and bring those daughters of your along. Every year we have a fine crop of guys helping out cheerfully. :-) Keep writing more of your observations. They have been so interesting to read!!

  3. I've enjoyed your musings about the MN Ladies Retreat too. Karen, Kay, Priscilla,and Rachel have done such a good job each year making it a special time for ladies! Dorcas, it was so good to have you with us this time. One thing that resonated with and inspired me from your sharing with us was the story of your friend's child. You recognized the destroyer's attempts to harm the child and said, "This is spiritual warfare!" I thought, "Yes!" It makes it such a practical thing. In the incident with the noisy girls, you model well to them and us how to gently speak up when things are being done that negatively affect others. Good job!

  4. qOTD: Loved it! Sounds so much like the brother-little sister thing that goes on here! Only I'm not sure ours are quite that original! Pauline