Being the Guest

Since starting in Lubbesthorpe my days have been filled with being the guest in other peoples ‘places’.   As yet I have no home/office/community space in Lubbesthorpe so I always rely on others hospitality.

One of those places is the Council Offices.   They always offer me such a warm welcome and it is easy to feel at home there, especially when I’m asked ‘how are things going’ and ‘how can we help you better’.

I also frequent local coffee shops, pubs and hotels and last week I found myself in a hotel café waiting to meet up with a charity who want to work with homeless families to build their own homes and become a community.    They were seeking people of faith who would join them in their dream (despite not being people of faith themselves).  They recognise faith is important to living a balanced and happy life and were extending an invitation  to me as ‘a person of faith’ to join them.  Although I haven’t got the time to join them, I was blessed by their excitement, enthusiasm and openness towards me and the Christian faith.

 

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As I sat in the café it caused me to think of the slightly nomadic lifestyle I lead at the moment and whilst I’m looking forward to having a community space in Lubbesthorpe there is something about not having a ‘home’ and always being the guest rather than the host, that is worthy of reflection.

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Meeting people on their ‘turf’ or in a local cafe means if you don’t feel welcome then you are left with a slightly unnerving feeling and ultimately you leave and don’t return.    When I move into the ‘community cabin’ or ‘posh shed’ (or whatever it is we call the first community space) I hope I will remember what it’s like to be the guest. I think that will make me a much better host but I also hope that I will continue to be the guest in many ways.   Why?  Because I believe that if at times I’m still the guest then the people of Lubbesthorpe will be a people who be welcoming and hospitable to one another and that as the community grows, it’s hospitable and welcoming nature will become the norm for the community.

As I reflect I’m also reminded that when Jesus sent his disciples out on mission they were always the guests.  They didn’t have a house they called their own, they relied on others hospitality so I’m not the first by any means to be in need of others hospitality!   However, I also get the feeling that maybe Jesus is reminding me about being prepared to receive from others, that they have as much to give me as I want to give to them (or potentially more!).   That, is certainly worthy of more thought for another day!

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Author: Sue Steer

I am a Pioneer Community Worker working with Churches Together in Leicestershire. My remit is to help cultivate community in Lubbesthorpe which is a new town that is being built on the edge of Leicester. Married to Dave we are passionate about exploring different ways of being church. We have two grown up boys who are off exploring life at University. I love yoga, aquafit, walking and gardening, laughing, singing and eating food with friends and family. I'm also a Baptist Community Minister.

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