Responding to the Nudges
By Nancy Hylton of Seattle, WA, USA
Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it. —Hebrews 13:1–2 NRSV
My husband and his friend were riding in the bus together. Karl asked, “How many children do you have now?” My husband answered, “Let me think… 17.” Nearby people must have thought it strange that he stopped to think, and equally surprised by his answer. Hosting 23 foreign exchange high school students has blessed our family.
It started with a phone call in 1988. Sixteen-year-old Karina from Brazil needed a change of placement until June. We had a bedroom ready for our adopted son, but his arrival had been delayed. Though our lives were already full, we felt the nudge and responded to this need. Who would have guessed where it would lead!
Most of our “exchange kids” have lived in our home for 11 months. They all have keys to our house and know they are welcome back any time. Our home will always be their home. We have children and grandchildren all over the globe. We have attended weddings in Brazil, Ghana, and Denmark and have been guests in homes on three continents.
I pray that I will remain open and receptive to those little nudges, for we never know where they will lead us. With God, broad effects can result from small sparks. Recent scripture tells us to look beyond the horizon where God sends us and not to be afraid to go. God’s love will touch our lives in ways we may never fully grasp—but we go where we are nudged.
Prayer for Peace
Mysterious God, help us always be aware of your presence in each person. When we welcome them, we welcome you. When we share Christ’s peace, we welcome the World.
Meditate on Unity in Diversity. Create a large circle with your arms. See and feel the diverse people God invites inside the sanctuary of Christ’s peace represented by this circle.
Who is easiest to welcome? Whom do you struggle to include? Confess the dividing walls between you and people too different or “challenging” to invite into your spiritual home. Ask God to forgive and heal barriers that keep us from loving one another.
Today, God, I will remember that “you cannot shake hands with a clenched fist.” —Golda Meir