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Saturday, 18 June 2011

welcome and rest

One thing I reflected on as I prepared the recent service about welcome was the importance of rest - which can be something integral to welcome (depending on the person's need).  If I am exhausted or stressed, the best welcome is one that indicates freedom to rest - to be at peace, to have nothing extra required of me.  Hospitality in this form creates a space where the daily concerns and demands of life can recede for a while, as the person's needs are cared for and provided for.

Do we sometimes make our 'welcome' too demanding?  Sometimes simply allowing someone space to breathe and be peaceful in a safe place is all the welcome they need.  This may entail protection of a sort - assuring them that you will be their watchman at the door, for want of a better way of putting it.  Sometimes I find one of the most valuable and appreciated welcomes of all are those where I'm told to come in, relax, don't feel the need to do anything or say anything.  I'll do it, for a while, so that you can have some rest.  I'll guard you from the demands, the questions, the things you cannot manage.  You are safe.  You are welcome here.

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