With the first part of the move done, the idea of hospitality is much in my head. Since we've elected to drive our own belongings from Lawrence to Richmond, and since I have no stomach for trying to tow a car behind the rental truck, I've made the first of two such drives to deposit one of our vehicles in Richmond, to be reclaimed when we arrive with everything else. This has relied upon other people being hospitable: not only my old roomie having a spare futon available and firing up the grill for night one, but a form of hospitality being extended to me from someone whom I had not even met, technically. We've corresponded by email a good bit over the seminary and such, but our vehicle now sits at the home of someone I met in person for the first time when I arrived to leave it there. (She and her husband also provided dinner to boot.) Talk about "receiving the stranger in your midst."
OK, so in an absolute sense I am not technically a stranger, I guess. Maybe this would be an opening to go into how the variety of electronic media changes the way people relate to one another, and there's certainly something to that notion--people who have no physical contact can become quite familiar, so to speak, through their communication via email, blogs (hello!), Facebook, etc. But I don't know that I have the energy to pursue that line of thought at the moment (two days of mainlining Mello Yello on the road will take its toll, eventually), and besides, I'm not the young, hip type to be talking about social media as if it's the salvation of the world.
Instead, at this moment I am simply grateful for the hospitality of friends, strangers, and those who are some of both. I am challenged to consider my own capability for hospitality. And I'm really ready to get home, or at least to that place which holds home for a little more than a week longer.