Just over a week ago, we moved into the house that we're renting this year in Colorado Springs. It's huge and beautiful and some dear friends from China who were visiting us simply said, “1 John 3:1” as we took them on a tour. “Yes,” Charly agreed. “Lavish.”
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called children of God.”
Lavish describes the way that God has been showering us with blessings.
Two nights ago, our family gathered together in our new living room to watch a movie that used to be one of our favorites when we lived in Tianjin, What About Bob?
Since then, I've been thinking about the word authenticity. Bob is such an authentic character. You can't help but like him and all of his idiosyncrasies. Everyone in the movie becomes captivated by him, except his psychiatrist Dr. Leo Marvin.
Dr. Leo Marvin is a rigid, self-absorbed man whose relationships are all held at arm's length, He tries with everything he has to set appropriate boundaries with Bob, and fails miserably. His life mission then becomes to get rid of Bob—who is everything he is not—and he ends up having a breakdown.
Bob enters into his psychiatrist's life—uninvited--and is transformed. Within the community that embraces him, he begins to let go of all the fears that have paralyzed him for so long. He learns to love authentically, and he receives unconditional love (from everyone except Leo) in return.
This morning I started reading a book called Embracing Soul Care by Stephen W. Smith. The chapter on Soul Hospitality made me think about Bob.
“Many people know the feeling of being passed. Alone, without friends or community ties, they feel forgotten and without value. They need the attention that will heal their souls. Even the simplest acts of hospitality, offered at a point of need by unexpected pilgrims, can touch people deep within...
Sometimes the place of hospitality matters more than anything else we can do. In Christ's parable, the injured man wasn't offered a program or a book. He was taken to the place of sanctuary. It was a place of transformation back to health. Here, life flowed back into a badly beaten body and soul, aided by the healing hands of time, Likewise, love requires that soul injured travelers be taken to a hospital for the soul, a necessary respite for a weary soul. In this special place, the victim heals.
We all need the solace of an inn to reshape our souls, a place to talk, have oil applied to wounds, and rest. Where is your place? When you're revived, what place can you offer to others?”
Lavish love. Authenticity. Soul Hospitality. Transformation.
Would love to hear any thoughts you have on these topics.