Over the years, I can’t tell you how many times I have caught up with an old friend or acquaintance, had a wonderful time and on the farewell, have her say to me, “Come and see me sometime!” Then she makes no attempt to make a date and time. She just waves and hurries on her way. Quite frankly, it bothers me.
It bothers me because she doesn’t really want to see me. If she seriously wanted to see me, she would make a date and time- even if it was a tentative one. Goodness knows, in 64 years, I have learned that nothing except death and taxes, is certain in this world, and nothing is written in stone. My world would not crumble if the date had to be cancelled. And as a chronically ill woman, it may very well be me who has to cancel.
But what bothers me is not only do I feel that my friend may not be as close as I thought, but that her words are not backed up by actions. A half-hearted invitation without any definite arrangement smacks of insincerity to me. I would prefer that such an invitation weren’t extended. Why? Because it builds me up with an expectation that probably isn’t going to happen. A moment of feeling wanted and then rejected.
Over the years, I have hosted numerous afternoon teas and been invited to many, and I can’t begin to tell you how each of these occasions were mutually enjoyed. Never underestimate the power of hospitality and friendship to buoy low spirits and refresh the weary traveller. I am grateful to all my friends who share the gift of hospitality. Often an invitation has come at just the right time to lift me up or for me to encourage others, and the timing has been the LORD’S.
Because I know the value of hospitality, when I meet a friend who I feel would like to come to tea, I make it a habit to invite her- and then proceed to make a date- even a tentative one. Paul tells us to love sincerely. What greater way of loving a friend than to share quality time with her in yours or her home?
Next time you find yourself saying, “Come and see me sometime!” to a friend, be sincere and mean it. Then follow it through. This side of Heaven, you may never know how needed that may have been and what a blessing your friendship and your hospitality- and love, were.
© Glenys Robyn Hicks
“[Let] love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. [Be] kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.” Romans 12:9-13