That night, she wondered about the mysterious man and his family as she tried to sleep.
- Father Daniel Homan, OSB & Lonni Collins Pratt, Radical Hospitality
Tonight as I was doing laundry, a gentleman sat down with a large tray of nachos next to me and offered to share. I struggled internally for a few moments and trying to focus on the weight I need to lose, I finally said, "No, thank you." Very considerate and very polite, he had made an overture. With a salt and pepper beard, he was not unattractive at all. As I was reading Radical Hospitality, I was dealing with the feelings that he may have felt rejected because the color of our skin is different. And the more I read, the more I felt the best thing to do was to respond to his hospitality in kind.
I discovered as I waited that he appeared to be single by his laundry, and it was his dryer I accidentally put the dollar's worth of quarters into. That made me feel a little better.
I waited patiently for him to finish his folding as my last load was still in the dryer. I walked up to him, told him, "You offered to share your food with me, and I don't even know your name." I'm Sophie," I said, as I offered him my hand which he took in a dancer's gentle hold.
"I'm Dwayne," he replied as I vowed to remember his name.
Radical hospitality teaches us that by letting other people into our hearts, we grow. It encourages us to remember that the stranger without and the stranger within are both human. It encourages us to put relationships with ourselves and others above traditions. It preaches that true acceptance is compassionate and non-intrusive. A beautiful concept, it requires us to look for the divine in the faces of others and treat them with their inherent worth and dignity.
I was fortunate to be the recipient of so much hospitality growing up. Trust me, you'll know genuine hospitality when you see it. It is the embodiment of love, for yourself, for others and for the interconnectedness of all things.
Hugs and God Bless,