April 24 – Radical Hospitality with David Hurnevich

David HurnevichThe Practice of Radical Hospitality – Front Porches and Crispy Bacon

“I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” Matthew 25–35

One of the many blessings of being able to retire in The Villages has been the opportunity that my wife VK and myself have had to make new friends. We have made friends within our neighborhood, social groups, and fellow believers at Lake Deaton. It has always amazed me that in a relatively short amount of time mere acquaintances can become dear friends.

Two of those friends are Russ and Anne. After living in The Villages just over a year, VK was diagnosed with breast cancer. Before we told our families, we reached out to Russ and Anne because we knew they would be a comfort to both of us throughout this journey. Their comfort and the comfort of countless others, came in many forms and was more than we could have ever expected.

One example of “Radical Hospitality” can be shown through one of the actions of our friends Russ and Anne. From having eaten breakfast with us on several occasions, Russ and Anne knew VK loved blueberry pancakes and crispy bacon. Throughout VK’s time in chemotherapy, Russ, who loves to cook breakfast, would make blueberry pancakes and crispy bacon just for VK. I can’t help but think that as our Oncologist in Ocala would decide on the proper mixture of chemotherapy to heal VK, Russ would create the proper mixture of blueberries and pancake batter to heal VK in a way unachievable in any hospital.

The blueberry pancakes and crispy bacon, including maple syrup, were never requested by VK or myself, they were simply delivered to our front porch on any given morning with a text message that simply read, “check your front porch”.

Our world has adopted the catchphrase “thoughts and prayers” and “call me if you need anything.” Throughout this ordeal, we never thought to actually “make that call.” However, “Radical Hospitality” utilized in the care of others encourages us to not only offer “thoughts and prayers” but also render assistance and support without ever being asked. In other words, are we telling our friends and neighbors in need to “check their front porches?”

This picture was taken hours after VK’s head was shaved in preparation for chemotherapy.

“Radical Hospitality” is when we provide a level of empathy and comfort that transcends that of mere friendship.

Discussion Question:

Given your gifts and abilities how might you render “Radical Hospitality” to one another without ever being asked?

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