Yes, Jesus has said that we are the light of the world. I often think about all those missionaries who have picked abandoned children from garbage piles or from jungle edges or from the clay steps of their front porches. I think about the hospitable Christians of history. I think about Catherine Zell of Strassbourg in the Middle Ages who opened that city to the refugees of the Peasants’ War and single-handedly administrated relief to these several thousand. I think of the unadvertised hundreds of Corrie ten Booms, now Trees of the Righteous, who throughout centuries have sheltered the displaced, the life-hounded. I wonder what kind of illumination they have sent against the darkness.
What unseen incandescence rolls back the gloom when I open this my door and stand silhouetted against the warmth inside?
Often I’ve wondered at the soft glow which fills the rooms only on hospitality nights. Is it candles? Is it my inward love toward these people making my eyes filmy? Or, is it a Presence totally apart from myself, “the true light that enlightens every man”? What shadows are actually dispelled when we share Him with those in bondage, those with broken spirits, or those strangers in prisons of their own making?
When I open my door, do I send unseen rays to dispel the night? When I open my eyes and see the suffering, is my soul flooded with an unknown shimmering because I am seeing now with the eyes of Christ?
When I open my heart, does it shine somewhere like the flame in a cavern, one living pinprick warding off the monstrous cavity of nothingness? Am I a light in the world? And, is this house set on a hill for the city to see? I hope so. I fervently hope so.
Take some tentative steps toward worldwide hospitality.
- Contact a foreign student advisor to inquire as to whether there is a need for people to provide the atmosphere of a substitute family for internationals.
- Give the church secretary your name to call the next time she needs someone to provide overnight housing for missionaries returning from the field.
Karen Mains has long had an interest in Christian hospitality and is the author of the best-selling book, Open Heart, Open Home.
An award-winning author of several other books, Karen continues to write content for her Christian blog, “Thoughts-by-Karen-Mains.” In so doing, she desires to touch the lives of Christian women and men and help them find ways to walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, through silent retreats, spiritual teaching, women’s retreats, Christian vacation opportunities, and other ministry activities, Karen helps each Christian woman and man receive vital spiritual food.
For decades, Karen Mains and her husband, David, have served God through religious communications—radio, television, and print publication. The are the co-authors of the Kingdom Tales Trilogy: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. To find many valuable resources for pastors and churches at the Mainstay Ministries main website, please click here.
In addition, pastors will find special resources to help them create effective, life-transforming Sunday sermons by visiting David Mains’ website by clicking here.
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen serves as a spiritual coach to many Christian women and men, and teaches a mentor-writing class. And, through the Global Bag Project, she is working to develop a network of African women who sew exquisite cloth reusable shopping bags. This micro-finance women opportunity helps provide a much-needed sustainable income for struggling African families. For more information on this critically important project, please click here.