Here’s an observation: The women I know who excel in hospitality carry a full purse. In fact, I just talked to one of those Martha Stewarts this morning, and she recommended I keep a baggy of almonds in my purse at all times, so I always have a healthy snack on hand if I get hungry.
These are the women who have a Kleenex when you need one. And probably a Band-Aid and a piece of gum.
“Hospitable,” by definition, means a person is warm and generous to guests. And a “guest,” according to Webster’s, is someone who is the recipient of hospitality.
Which is why a woman with a full purse and a warm heart can go into any setting and turn everyone she meets into a guest.
When my kids were little I never had what I needed. Half the time I forgot the diaper bag. When I did remember to bring it with me, I often did not actually have a diaper in it. Or maybe there was a diaper but no wipies. My friend, Queen Hospitality, carried a thirty-pound diaper bag (which I thought ridiculous), but she always had what she her baby needed and what my baby needed. (Hmmm. I feel an urge to write her a check for $30 for all those times I said, “I forgot. Can I borrow?”)
My mother-in-law carries Mary Poppin’s carpet bag, into which she can reach her hand at any time and pull out anything needed by the people around her.
So I’m all grown up now, and I carry a full purse. I can share gum down the row at church. I do have a Kleenex, and yes, honey, I have pen and paper you can use. It feels good to become a hospitable woman, to be the one looking for ways to be warm and generous to the people around me, instead of always being the one who is asking for help.
Paul says we should “. . . look . . . to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4, NIV). This isn’t something we do at just at home, when we schedule company to arrive in our clean house, to a table set with fresh-cut flours and homemade bread. Looking out for the interests of others can be a service we take with us into every setting.
My purse cost five dollars at Goodwill. It’s very cute, and you would be impressed by the name brand. But its the contents that are valuable. And maybe this is a reflection of what God is doing in my soul? Changing me from someone who gave no thought to the needs of others, into a woman who looks at people and is well-stocked to help them.
So why don’t you clean out your purse today, and while you clean ask God to transform you into a hospitable woman.