Hospitality is a form of resistance. It seems like an odd statement doesn’t it? A couple of years ago, a pastor friend of mine, shared this statement with a gathering of people that I was a part of. As I’m thinking back on it now, I’m remembering that gathering happened around a table.
Hospitality is a form of resistance. I’ve turned that statement over and over in my mind dozens of times since I first heard it. I’ve come back to it again, and again, and again…at different times and for different reasons.
Hospitality is a form of resistance. The past few days this phrase has been rolling about like a mighty wave, in my heart and in my mind, along with another series of thoughts…thoughts I am struggling to articulate and even to fully understand.
Several days ago a black man died. He died face down on the street. Held down by white men. White police officers.
I did not know him. He lived in a city far from my own. But he joined a growing list of black men and women who have become frequent visitors in my home. They have become well known names because of their desperately tragic deaths. I don’t imagine that this is the thing they ever wanted to be famous for.
I did not know them, but I know others who grieve because of them. I know mamas, both black and white, who have sons and daughters with dark, beautiful skin. Mamas who hold their breath every time their children, even their adult children, walk out the door. Every time their children leave the safety of their arms. My heart grieves with these mothers. I can’t even pretend to imagine the weight of fear that they must carry. Every. Single. Day. Never able to fully lay it down.
They must be tired. They must be weary. It must be so very heavy and it must become heavier every time another black man or woman is suspected of a crime merely because of the color of their skin. And heavier still every time another black man or woman dies needlessly.
Some will say there are 2 sides to every story and we should not assume that these white men did not have a legitimate reason to use deadly force. That’s true. There are always 2 sides to every story. The thing I notice though is that in these sad tales only one side has lived to tell their story.
As a person of faith, a Christ follower, I recognize that these men and women were made in the image of God. They were image bearers. Just like me. Just like you. I wonder why many of God’s people often seem so unconcerned about the struggles of our black brothers and sisters. Where is our sense of hospitality? Where is our resistance to these injustices?
My heart grieves today. It grieves with the mothers who have lost their children. It grieves with all who carry a weight that is heavier today than it was a few days ago, a weight that continues to grow. It grieves for every mother and wife that waits and worries every time her men walk out the door. It grieves for the white men and their families who must forevermore carry the knowledge and burden of what they have done. It grieves.
Hospitality is a form of resistance. The thought, the idea continues to roll around in my mind, in my heart…in my soul. Can it resist this? This evil. This fear. This grief. Could it make a difference?
I can’t fix the world. But I can resist it. I can invite people to my table…to mourn, to wrestle, to share, to inspire, to bear one another’s burdens…to learn to do life together in a new way.
I can resist. I would invite you to do the same. Open your doors. Create a place of peace for those who are lost, who are broken, who think differently than you. Open it to those that can’t see for their anger, their hate, their sadness. Feed them physically and spiritually. Let people know they have a place to be safe in their hardest times…especially during seasons such as this, unexplainable, unimaginable times of fear and anger and sadness. Invite people to come to your table with their joy…but invite them to come in their suffering as well.
Hospitality is a form of resistance. Let’s resist together!
#BlackLivesDoMatter #ImageBearers #ComeToTheTable #GodHelpUs #Resist