The hospitality of grief
At times grief can feel like a flaw, but to some the tenderheartedness unearthed through suffering will be received as hospitality.
Sharing a struggle may be an invitation for someone else to say, "Me too."
Authenticity may be an invitation for someone to trust and be honest.
Compassion and emotion may create a space where others feel safe.
When we think on the spaces in which we have felt the most welcome, it was likely not due to being "impressed". It was not because of perfection. It was probably because we felt secure. Seen. Invited as we were.
There have been times when I have felt insecure about our story--about sadness and deep feelings, and even empathy. There are times when I have feared that opening up may be perceived as overly emotional or attention-seeking (and times when it has been perceived that way). But when we battle the insecurity of being "too much", may we surrender our fears to God and rest knowing that His power is made perfect in our weakness. And that to some, your weakness will be received as hospitality.
It may not include clean floors or an absence of clutter. It may not come in the form of fresh baked bread or flowers on the table. It may not look like being the perfect entertainer. (But if you’re gifted in this, you go girl! God gifted us all differently and will use that too!)
But it may look like comfort. A warm welcome. A safe place to fall. A generous reception for heavy hearts--which all of us will have at some point in life, even if our "losses" are different.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5 "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too."