This is too good to not share with you today!
On the Journey Toward Radical Hospitality
written by VICTORIA S. SCHMIDT
My friend Isaiah, is a missionary who works in Medellin, Columbia with homeless youth. Many are addicted to glue which slowly causes irreversible brain damage. Their addiction to glue allows them to cope with their emotional pain and the violence of living on the streets of Medellin. The children survive by eating scraps from the garbage.
Often Isaiah would visit with a young man named Louis who lived on the streets in a makeshift shelter of boxes and rusted scraps of corrugated metal. When Isaiah visited, Louis always took off his tattered shirt to spread on the ground so Isaiah would not have to sit in the dirt. Sadly, Louis was killed on the same street where he had shown love and hospitality to his friend.
I recall that story often as an example of radical hospitality. How often I have missed an opportunity to welcome someone into my home or to offer them a seat, or even a warm smile. It would not be a sacrifice for me like it was for Louis and yet I still protect my personal space.
Fr. Richard Rohr once told a story about seeing a message written on a sidewalk by a homeless person that read, "See how they protect their nothing." And it challenges me to reflect on what God given gifts I am afraid to share with my brothers and sisters.
On my journey toward radical hospitality, I want to be like Louis who had nothing but the shirt on his back and a small homemade shelter to share with his friend Isaiah. Louis had nothing but gave everything, even his life.
- VICTORIA S. SCHMIDT lives in Springfield, Illinois (USA). She has a missionary heart that has been formed by thirty years of missionary work around the world. She currently serves as Director of Theresian World Ministry, an international Catholic women's organization.
Our small group is beginning a study entitled
Walk Across The Room
(I cannot wait until Tuesday night!)