“Oh crap! It’s the doorbell!”
I get a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. I am embarrassed by the rubber boots thrown haphazardly across the deck but am even more self-conscious of the interior state of affairs… my current house opens to the living room where the youngest in the Brix tribe have free rein.
Despite us doing a pick-up after lunch and before supper, the doorbell only rings on fort building or I-couldn’t-find-that-one-particular-lego-so-I-dumped-out-all-three-million-onto-the-floor days. Perhaps it is because these are daily occurrences.
Adam and I just took a class at the church called, Called and Gifted which, explores our God-given charisms. Charisms are unique gifts given to us to be offered in service to others. Most people have a handful, and these charisms are the vehicles that we, the Mystical Body of Christ, use to bring Christ to others.
One of mine was the charism of hospitality. Now, I LOVE a good party! Adam and I have hosted many gatherings over the years and look forward to many more in the future. So, was I surprised to find that as one of my top charisms? Nope. As a matter of fact, I started to write a book about hospitality a few years back… it is hidden in the catacombs of countless other dead writings… will it ever resurrect? Only time will tell.
I was happy to see that hospitality was indeed one of my charisms. But then I was struck by the thought of the feelings that unexpected guests give me, and was clouded with confusion. I spent the next few weeks mulling over this strange paradox- my love for people, and the anxiety that they give me.
I took it to prayer and was able to work through the fact that it was a control issue and me not doing well with unexpected twists to my day. This knowledge was somewhat helpful, but it still didn’t answer the question as to whether hospitality was one of my God-given charisms or just something that I got a kick out of doing once in a while. The difference is the supernatural fruits that pour forth from a charism.
There are 3 steps to the Called and Gifted program. The first is simply taking the class and completing the assessment. The second is doing a live one-on-one interview with a trained individual who helps discern true charisms habits from acquired skills. The third is a small group approach where you discuss how you are using the charisms in your life and find encouragement from others.
I haven’t gotten to the third step yet, but during my one-on-one interview, I shared my concerns with my interviewer. I told her how I loved people and loved planning and throwing get-togethers, but struggled with random visitors.
In my mind, to be hospitable means consistency at all times and loving people coming into my home at all hours of the day or night. I was ready to chalk this one up to just something I enjoyed, rather than a supernatural gift. But then my insightful interviewer asked, “But what does this look like in 20 years?”
WOOF! The Holy Spirit was at work that night and in that instant, I knew exactly what she meant, and knew in my heart that hospitality was indeed one of my charisms.
In 20 years, my life will be drastically different. At the moment, I am homeschooling 4 kids- grades 2, 3, 5 and 7. I am currently nursing a monster of a baby. I am the activity director for a BUSY 2-year-old and a highly-sensitive 4-year-old. I have 2 in diapers, and 2 with special needs. To top off this already full-time career, I have to feed and clothe my children, as well as keep our home from looking too much like a barn.
I know messy hospitality is all the rage these days (which I LOVE!) but for the next few years, I will be MIA from that scene. When my youngest child is able to talk, go potty by
themselves and maybe even put their own shoes on, it will be game-on messy hospitality for me!
And when my house is eerily quiet, and household items stop growing legs and ending up in completely weird and random locations (like spatulas in the entryway and trucks next to the toilet), I hope my heart skips a beat at the sweet song of the doorbell.
In true Benedictine fashion, I hope my soul squeals, “It is Jesus at the door!” As I welcome them with open arms and a hot cup of coffee.
But for now, I can see the image of baby Jesus in my little Joseph crawling towards me in need of some mid-afternoon snuggles, so excuse me while I indulge myself.
Until next time, your sister in Christ