“Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.”

-1 Peter 4:9 

 

If you don’t read this sentence in my mom’s voice, you may not have spent enough time around her yet. The Stage-Harvey’s have 4 life rules: don’t do meth, don’t die, be respectful, and don’t whine. See, I can be quite good at that last one when it’s a tedious hike and I’m up to my knees in muddy snow, but when it comes to other things like sharing my shower time with 3 roommates, cleaning the stove for the fourth time in a week, or offering the hearty meal I just cooked to others, there might be a few grumbles heard from me.

To conclude my summer in Ann Arbor, I went on a camping trip with some friends. I have never really had Jewish friends until college, but a major way these friends show love is by cooking and sharing food. Now, being Lutheran, I also find the presence of God through sharing food with others, but usually this sharing of food is during a planned out event. It was a bit of a shock to me how easily my new friends asked for my food and shared their own when I wasn’t expecting it.

On the drive over to the UP, one of my friends was telling a story about a banana buying situation that happened with her roommates. She started off the story by talking about how they had a rotation for buying bananas and whoever saw the bananas were out would buy another bunch. She then said “someone might eat three bananas in the bunch,” and at this time I was thinking, holy cow, 3 bananas is half the bunch, how is that fair when there are 4 other roommates in the house?? And through my worries over the fairness of bananas, I heard her conclude, “but who cares, it’s just bananas. There’s always more bananas out in the world.” I sat there in silence when the rest of the car nodded along at the unimportance of 3 bananas. 

We hiked 10.5 miles the next day and some people forgot to bring lunch. I sat down with the unintentional intention of hoarding my slim amount of food from both the flies and my friends. I looked up and saw my banana friend happily handing out her precious calories without a second thought. We ended up compiling all of our food together and having a lovely picnic of granola bars, tuna in a bag, sourdough bread, and dried banana chips. 

I usually pride myself in providing hospitable places for people and sharing what I own without a second thought, but when I need to think about it and am asked to be generous, I let out a small grumble. I have learned to share a lot living in tight quarters with roommates and being on a frisbee team when we are all tired. This has helped me learn to be gracious even when I’m not expecting to be gracious. It is still definitely a work in progress, but I hope this trip and sharing food in Lesbos has opened up many opportunities for us to be asked to be generous. 

 

Closing Prayer

 

Lord, 

All is a gift from your gracious hand.
Let us breathe in this world and willingly do your work. 

Feed us today and teach us to feed one another.

 

In Jesus name, Amen.

 

1 Comment


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