the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers. (Dictionary.com)
I’m of the opinion that hospitality can be practiced anywhere, not just in our homes, and may I suggest it can be practiced from our cars?
A couple of weeks ago I was travelling with a friend to the Baltimore area. We were making good time, hoping to arrive at our destination with plenty of time to snooze, relax and have lunch. None of that would happen as we came to a standstill on highway 83 near Baltimore. We were not only stopped, I eventually shut the car off, for two and half hours..parked. You can imagine the frustration beginning to brew, not in our car because Shelley and I hadn’t spent much time together lately, we both have kids about to graduate highschool and we always have something to talk about…not just our kids.
People were getting out of the cars, none too happy, and definitely not in a hospitable mood. A young woman got out of her car next to us to talk to who we thought were state troopers walking by, only to hear them say they had no idea what was happening. They had on official uniforms, but not sure what their ‘official’ job was. Girl in the car next to us was beyond exasperated, which I could understand, but there was nothing we could do, there was no way to go forward or backward. As I was thinking, in a nice way of course, ‘girl get back in your car, there’s nothing you can do’, I looked back to see she had two car seats in the back seat. One an infant, the other a toddler, arms flailing, feet kicking and none too happy about being strapped in a car seat for over two hours.
There wasn’t much that could be done, but we did have a bit of food along for the ride. I reached back to our stash, grabbed a box of crackers and handed to girl in the car. Toddler in the car was immediately happy and distracted for a few minutes. Shortly after that, we drove off into the sunset.
This isn’t a post to toot my own horn, but a reminder we can do unto others wherever we might find ourselves today. We can practice hospitality to our family, friends, but especially those we don’t know or even people we wouldn’t necessarily associate with.
What could you do with a box of crackers?