Inconvenient Hospitality

Inconvenient Hospitality

I’m not naturally very good at hospitality. I like control, and being able to mostly expect what my day will bring. This is all well and good for throwing parties or having friends over for lunch, but biblical hospitality is another thing entirely. Think of Abraham, who threw out the red carpet for three visitors who showed up unannounced at his tent one day, rushing to provide them with some of the best of what he had. As it turns out, one of those visitors was God himself, who came bearing a great promise that would change the course of Abraham’s life.

Refugee Realities

Refugee Realities

In my work with Open Homes, A Christian ministry that supports refugee claimants, we don’t ask for people’s stories. Refugee claimants already have to tell their stories to so many people: lawyers, Immigration and Refugee Board judges and border officials. Besides, few people want to be defined by one of the worst things that’s ever happened to them. So we don’t ask. Sometimes people share bits of their travels and traumas as we get to know them, but this is (we hope) on their timing and on their terms. But I still want to learn from refugee stories and understand just a bit of what the people I meet may have gone through.

Lessons From My 20s

Lessons From My 20s

Have you heard the one about Jesus’ disciples?

“No one ever talks about Jesus’ miracle of having 12 close friends in his 30s” (credit: Twitter user @Mormonger).

I just celebrated my 29th birthday, and this definitely rings true! It’s comforting to know that others my age feel the same way. I don’t want to paint too dreary a picture – I do have some close friends whom I’m very grateful for, even if we don’t see each other every recess and noon hour to play grounders. Friendship looks different these days.

Learning to Lament

Learning to Lament

I’m sad knowing that Christians, despite the constant biblical theme of blessing the stranger, still want limits on welcoming refugees and immigrants. Cultural misconceptions about refugees in particular are just as common among Christ-followers in Canada as they are in wider society. This at a time of unprecedented need for churches to open their arms to refugees, both those who are sponsored overseas and those who walk across our border and ask for protection.

I’m sad because I see us clinging to cultural power. As someone who has communicated with churches for the past five years, I can tell you that nothing mobilizes church people faster than a threat to our cultural power. Some of these perceived threats have been genuine causes for concern, and some . . . less so. But regardless, I lament that it’s not usually self-denying love of “the poor, the widow, the orphan and the stranger” that stirs us to rapid action, but threats to our own freedom.