Tuesday, August 7, 2012

On Welcoming Others

"Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone's lifestyle, you  must fear them or hate them. The second is that to love someone you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don't have to compromise convictions to be compassionate." (Rick Warren)

I LOVE entertaining. I really do. And while we have a small place right now, I hope that one day we'll be able to have something larger and be able to welcome even more people into our home. (Although our family and friends have been really awesome about cramming into our little place. Hey, the food's normally good, what can they do?)

I also try my best to make sure that our home is always ready for company - whether it's a co-worker meeting one of us for a business trip, a neighbor dropping by, or someone who's just "in the neighborhood" and wants to say a quick hello.

I realize all of these things are much easier to practice since we have no kids. (I KNOW there was someone reading this and muttering, "Just wait until she has kids...") The change in everything that children bring is not lost on me...I worked my way through college as a nanny for triplet boys, remember? But the idea is to get in the habit NOW of doing things this way, so that when the kids come, they learn the same principles.

During the last event that we held at our house, one of our guests caught me in the kitchen and commented on how she always felt comfortable when she was in our home, and she thanked me for that. Such a simple gesture, but it meant so much to me!

Recent events have got me thinking...quite a bit, actually. Did you know that since 2000, the number of hate groups in the United States has increased by 69%? That's amazing to me, and not in a good way! Why are we so hateful? Why are we so fearful? What's happened to the love? When did passion begin to negate compassion? These are things I don't understand.

I certainly can't change anyone else, but I do know that I can control my own actions. Just as I have always wanted anyone (no matter their race, gender or belief) to feel welcome and comfortable in my home, I want the same when meeting anyone for the first time, fellowshipping with those I have known for many years, or coming together with anyone, really, whether they are in my home or not.

Because, let's face it: I don't know when I may have an opportunity to speak encouragement into someone else's life, and how can I do that if they feel like I hate them, or even fear them? I have many convictions, and my goal is to have my actions support those convictions, but I refuse to bash anyone else over the head with them, or mock someone because they feel differently than I do. What good will that do? I mean, really?

As Warren said, "You don't have to compromise convictions to be compassionate." Thank goodness for that! And although this topic may not seem the norm for this blog, I think that there's a very important destination along the Road to Domestication. It's name is Compassion.

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