We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aid, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn.
Henry David Thoreau in Walden (1854)
The Lord appeared to Abraham at the oaks of Mamre while he sat at the entrance of his tent in the day’s heat. He looked up and suddenly saw three men standing near him. As soon as he saw them, he ran from his tent entrance to greet them and bowed deeply.
One of my favorite things about our house is the front porch. I love sitting outside on a warm night with something cold to drink, reading a book, and watching the neighbors walk by. Often, when someone walks by with their kids or their dog, we exchange a wave and sometimes a conversation is sparked. That’s easy with my neighbors, but I have to admit, if three men I didn’t know walked up my street I might say hello. But I’m for sure not inviting them to stay and eat my best food.
Stories like these make me think of just how opposite our culture has become. If most of us saw three men walking outside our home, we might offer them a wave and a hello and then continue about our own business, or we might go inside and lock the door.
Whom do you need to extend a radical welcome to? Are you paying close enough attention to see those opportunities?
God, help me to see opportunities to welcome others. Help me to see all humans as my neighbors. Amen.
You Go now.
Move from a place of hiding.
Seek kindness and there you will find the face of God in every person you meet.