“At heart, hospitality is a helping across a threshold” —Ivan Illich
This quote comes from one of my go-to sources for renewal—Mark Nepo’s Book of Awakening. My copy of Nepo’s book was a gift from my internship supervisor and every time I open it I am reminded of the radical welcome she offered me and how her consistent actions of welcome and generosity modeled for me that phrase we so often invoke in Unitarian Universalism—the beloved community. My mentor modeled for me daily that showing up as best we can in each moment goes a lot farther than a well crafted email or insightful sermon- as lovely as those may be. So, my inquiry for us this week, as we move into a holiday season that looks vastly different than in years past, is to get curious about how we can best show up for one another and for ourselves. How can we be bold participants (as Ted Loder once wrote) in the dance of creation? How might we, even as we are worn out from a very long year, find and nurture the wholeness that remains untouched underneath the surface of our pandemic constrained lives this month?
I suggest we look to the practice of hospitality—the time-honored ways (now updated for virtual spaces) that may allow us to remind ourselves and one another that our shared humanity matters. Perhaps a postcard or a simple note, a text or even an old fashioned phone call is in order this week—just reaching out to let another know that they are on your mind can go a long way to help you and them feel better and more connected. Research does indeed show that purposely seeking out ways to be of service to others can help alleviate feelings of sadness and disconnection we may be enduring. More information can be found in this article from Psychology Today.
At its heart, SVUUS is a community that cares and works diligently to ensure that all folx of good will are welcome—every day. So, as you go forth this week, I invite you to practice an act of radical hospitality and see how it goes.