Coca-Cola of Hospitality

In Paraguay, I got to discover the Coca-Cola of hospitality.

As we went for home visits, families would spend their hard-earned money on a liter of Coca-Cola–for us.  Coca-Cola is the drink of choice, we found in Paraguay.  And Coca-Cola is the drink of hospitality in Paraguay, too.

One night we went to a little home for prayer and fellowship with a family in need.  As we shared stories and laughter, the mother sent her son out for Coca-Cola for us.

There is something I wish I could describe here that I am struggling to find the right words for.  Here we were, sitting on an old sofa in a house that, by American standards, would be in a condemned state.  Yet our hostess–a mother with plenty of needs of her own–had dressed up for us and was spending a part of what little money she had on a special drink to treat us–and we were supposed to be the ones comforting her.

She served us the Coca-Cola and sat attentively while we drank, eager to offer us refills.  In the meantime, she and her son drank nothing, saving the precious soda they’d bought for us.

It’s truly humbling to compare her attitude of hosting to mine.  I so often look at hosting as a time to impress others with my cooking or decorating skills, so they’ll think more highly of me.  And I only want to invite people over when our house is clean and I feel it presents me in a good light.

But that’s not what Paraguay taught me.  Paraguay taught me that hosting is about the heart.

I want to serve the Coca-Cola of hospitality, too.  The question is, Am I willing to give of my heart to do so?

Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
 (Romans 12:13, NLT)

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