The Gift of Your Presence

You are my hiding place and my shield;  I hope in your word.

─ Psalm 119:114

After Ella Prichard’s husband died, in addition to the Bible and prayer, she looked to her twice-widowed mother-in-law, Helen for advice. When Helen’s second husband died, she immediately promised herself she would accept invitations if people wanted to stop by. She admitted she didn’t really want to see people, but after her first experience as a widow, she learned if she continued to turn people down, they would quit asking her to be a part of their lives.

Contrary to Helen’s advice, Ella read a lot of material that inaccurately recommended new widows to withdraw from social activities while still emotional about their loss, and she found it to be the worst advice. Helen was right – seclusion fosters depression and can weaken both mental and physical health and intensify grief. Ella says her friends really did not know how desperately she needed them to help fill the void left by her husband’s absence.

If you have the gift of hospitality but feel like your home is too small or your finances won’t allow big parties, remember that’s not the focus. We all need to share hope with one another. Our time together enriches our lives with the hope of Christ we share. Give yourself away to others, open your door and accept invitations. You never know what a gift your presence is to others.

Today’s One Thing

Accept one invitation you would have turned down this month and invite someone to join you for conversation as well.

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