Dance Like Nobody's Watching
Do you have a hobby? Even as I write out that question, I can hear my friends who are moms of younger children laughing out loud. At different seasons in our lives, we have more time than others. When my children were younger, I didn’t have time for a hobby, as I was just trying to keep my little humans alive. But as they grew a little older and work stress seeped into my life, I found that I really needed to find an enjoyable hobby that my husband and I could engage in. In my search for that hobby, I went into it with a perspective that I was doing this for me; my happiness, my health, and my goals. We considered many options during our hobby search, and on a whim we took a ballroom dance lesson and found that we both really enjoyed it. It combined our common love for music and percussion, as well as spending time together as a couple. But we quickly realized that we had a lot to learn because neither of us had ever danced before.
In the first few weeks of taking lessons, we were meeting new people who also shared this hobby and the love of learning a new skill. Ballroom dancing, like some other hobbies, is often picked up by people who have had a significant change in their lives. Health changes, divorce, death of a spouse, a move to a new community, and empty nest, are just some of the many reasons people will take up a new hobby. It didn’t take long before our dance class mates wanted to get to know me and my husband more. It may have been because we were an oddity, being happily married for over 25 years, or possibly just our outgoing personalities. Whatever the reason, it quickly became obvious to us that this new found hobby was also bringing people into our lives whom we would have never had met in any other atmosphere.
While some of our new dance friends went to church, the majority did not. Some had a background or history with church, Christians, and faith. But sadly, most of their experience with that was negative. They had been wounded when their life circumstances and choices had collided with a Christian who responded in judgement, instead of love and compassion. My husband and I quickly realized that we not only had the opportunity to learn how to dance and make new friends, but to help people see the love of Christ through how we loved them.
The ministry of hospitality extended beyond the walls of my church when we began to invite our new friends into our home for dinners, offers to babysit their little ones, and invest in their lives by loving them as God loves us all. The result? Oh, it’s still in the making, but during these last eight years we have seen the blessings of salvation, re-engaged disciples, giving church another chance, becoming god-parents, marriage restorations, and the privilege of being with some as they were passing away and entering victoriously into heaven, followed by ministering to those in grief.
Let me be very clear. We do not engage with these beautiful friends as a checklist of our faith, how utterly insincere would that be? We engage with these wonderful people, created in God’s image, because we love them as God loves us. I pray that one day, they will come to know Christ as Savior. Whether they choose to follow Christ at some point in their lives or not, we love them. As a follower of Christ, my responsibility is to be obedient to Him and His word. The results of my obedience are in God’s hands.
What about you? Looking for a hobby? I hope that as you enjoy the benefits of a new or existing hobby, you will also practice hospitality with the new friends who you meet along the way.
Hospitality In Action Tip #10
As you engage in hobbies outside the church, practice hospitality as an opportunity to share your faith in Christ.