Hospitality vs. Charity

Aside from initially thinking about southern hospitality when I hear or see the word “hospitality,” I secondly think of it in more general terms as the genuine caretaking of someone or a group of people.  Hospitality has many different meanings depending on its context.  I find it difficult to define it more specifically because the act of being hospitable can be executed and viewed differently by anyone.  However, I do believe true hospitality has an overtone of genuineness.

When I reflect about hospitality as it relates to Genesis: A New Life, I think about how easy it could be to go from being hospitable to being overly charitable, particularly if I feel someone or a group of people deserve more.  Personally, if I had monetary resources to give, I would find a positive way to help support my assigned family in a heartbeat.  I see amazing things from all six children and I see hope and faith in the eyes of the mother.  I am beginning to believe that another way to understand one’s character is through his or her child/children (if applicable).  The children from my assigned family are loving, helpful, energetic, and disicplined despite their circumstances.  I have to believe that the majority of those qualities come directly from their mother, particularly because the only other people in their lives (up until their time at Genesis) were their teachers at school.  (Yes, teachers can instill values and morals in the lives of children too, but to what extent is another subject matter, an ethical matter, I do not want to tackle right now.)

So, sometimes I wish I could help alleviate their situation in a more tangible way.  But that brings up the questions, “When is it too much?  And how much is too much?”  Such will continue to be a vague area for me because the contexts of people’s lives are constantly changing.  I have yet to answer those questions.  Maybe the important matter in the here and now is tuning into heartfelt, genuine, and pure hospitality…


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