Hospitality for Introverts

How can you practice hospitality when you'd rather be alone?
Hospitality for Introverts

I don't have the gift of hospitality. I first truly understood that when I was at my friend Mary's house along with a woman who was in campus ministry. This woman told us of an Indian student who needed housing. As she was telling us this girl's situation, I was saying to God, I don't want to have her live with us, but if that's what you want, I'm listening. But every fiber of my body was resisting the idea. Before she could even finish telling us about her, Mary said, "We'll take her. We'd love to have her!" In that moment I realized what the gift of hospitality is—unreserved delight in having people in your home.

Not only do I not have the gift of hospitality, but I'm an introvert. The one thing I could not live without is alone time. Whenever such time is crowded out of my life, I feel like I'm being crushed in a vice, with so much pressure that I'm going to crack.

Extroverts may struggle with things like keeping their house clean and fixing eatable meals as they consider hospitality, but they will often find ways to overcome that because they want to be with people. In fact, they are so motivated that they are probably practicing hospitality naturally as they go about their days.

We introverts, on the other hand, usually look for ways to avoid people. We're the kind who look the other way when we see someone we know in the grocery store because it means we'll have to talk to them. Most of us are content with having just a few friends around us, but we certainly don't enjoy going out of our way to meet new people and invite them into our living space.

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JoHannah Reardon
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