Hospitality pt 3 by Jim Tice

A couple of weeks back I wrote about hospitality and my struggles with it. I did go outside my comfort zone to extend hospitality as I resolved to do. Now remember I’m a poor hospitalitarian (okay that doesn’t sound right but you get my drift). So hospitality is always a stretch.

Well, I met Andrew one afternoon downtown. Andrew was hanging outside an office building panhandling. And as it was a chilly winter afternoon and I offered him a coffee and maybe something to eat from a local coffee shop. He declined the offer saying that he was going for a meal at his rooming house in a little while. (Besides I figure he wasn’t wanting to give up his spot in front of the office building) So, we settled for some conversation. He was quite ready to chat. It was good to have this conversation with a stranger and he was very welcoming of me as I hung out in his place of business if you like.

As time wore on and I was ready to depart I offered once again to get him something hot to drink and even to bring it back to him. But he declined again. From our conversation, I learned that one thing he enjoyed but couldn’t always afford was cigarettes. I’ve a rule that I won’t supply money for alcohol or drugs to friends on the street but I felt like God was nudging me a little on this one. So, I bought him some smokes. I know it’s not a healthy choice but a choice he had made and one that would bless him on this day. (Like most believers make healthy choices! Really when was the last time you went to a church potluck!) We parted friends and I hope to chat with Andrew another day.


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