The question one might ask in considering the self-sacrifice required to minister this radical hospitality is, “Why is it necessary?” The answer is simply that there are some people who cannot be helped unless there are others who will open up their lives in this way.
In Jerusalem there is a large war memorial built to commemorate the hundreds of thousands of Jews who met their deaths in the holocaust of the insane Nazi inferno. Not a name is written on this building, but the street leading to this monument is called the Avenue of the Righteous. Here tree after tree after tree has been planted in living memory of those who aided the oppressed descendants of Abraham—courageous men and women who refused to capitulate to human law because they recognized the existence of a higher spiritual law.
Philosophers have often wondered how good people could stand by and allow such outrageous suffering: Ignorance? Hidden racism? Helplessness? Cowardice? Perhaps they were just out of practice?
We in America have not yet been forced under such extreme circumstances to make these ultimate moral decisions. Perhaps, if that time comes, we will be so out of practice, holding so dearly to our earthly possessions—my home, my country, my race, my nationality—that we too will stand incapacitated in the face of great evil.
I wonder if there is an Avenue of the Righteous in Heaven where trees of life are planted to remember those people here on earth who have provided hostels and hospices for the disembodied of our land? Is there a tree for those who chip away at the mountain of racism by sharing their lives with black brothers and sisters? Is there a tree for those who bear cups of sanity to the mentally ill? Is there a tree for those who care for little children? Is there a tree for those who open their doors to those refugees from another kind of war, that of light against darkness?
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen Mains 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.
Karen 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 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.
Likewise, pastors will find special resources to help them prepare effective, life-transforming Sunday sermons by visiting David Mains’ website by clicking here.