tattoo manJust this week, I led a Bible study class on hospitality and compassion.  When we finished, one of the ladies was almost in tears.  Her granddaughter and great-grandchildren just moved back to the state.  Her grandson-in-law looks like a biker – tall, inked, long-hair, bandana. But he’s the best father she’s ever seen.  They want to come to church with her but she’s put off setting up a date. “Some people will look down their noses at him.”

“Well, they better get the heck over it. He’s family and we all adore you. Tell them to come.”

“But not everyone is like you.”

Thank God. I’m far from perfect. I’ve got a temper that one Grandmother claimed was Irish while the other insisted was German. Wherever it came from, I’ve got plenty of it. I spend a surprising amount of time wishing I’d kept my mouth shut. And there is virtually no one that I won’t boss around.

What I don’t tend to do is get caught up on how a Christian should look.  If you want to wear K-mart polyester or a snazzy suit, I’m okay with it.  A man with long hair isn’t going to faze me but neither is a buzz cut. I’m not going to slut shame or comment on your conservative pants suit, but I might ask you to sing in the choir, hand out bulletins or help me move a table. It’s that bossy gene. That said, I’ll also welcome you in and there’s always a pot of coffee on.

My friend was right. Everyone isn’t like me. Lori has her ever hopeful nature. Ruth is the best at helping us remember to laugh.  Me? It’s God’s house and I’m going to welcome you in with a bit of hospitality.

And, while you’re here, I may ask you to lend a hand. After all, God’s given each of us a gift to share.