imagine how dumb i felt when i googled hospitality today and got all hospitality INDUSTRY websites in return. i had in mind clever reflections on the practice of offering hospitality of the sort i've been pointing to--in books by dorothy bass, david mccarthy, christine pohl. but no, instead i got the website for the hospitality sales and marketing association international (hsmai) and the like.
on the one hand, i thought: how do people who do hospitality well in this industry teach about hospitality? what resources do they use? who are the hospitality gurus that teach seminars about welcoming the stranger? what school do bellhops attend? and to what extent can such work be rewarding, a calling with rich implications for 'making room' for others?
on the other hand, i thought: what does it matter to the christian practice of hospitality that one is paid for offering it?' i think of the paradigmatic story of the Samaritan who paid for the care of the stranger, without any assurance of being paid or even repaid for costs. pay would be, in the terms of alasdair macintyre, a good external to the practice of hospitality and not a good internal to it. is unpaid hospitality inherently better, more christian, etc? i especially felt this question in pastoral ministry. am i being paid to care about this group of people, this congregation? or paid to offer on their behalf hospitality to the stranger? and would that work be different were i not paid?
ah, the weight of questions laid down bare, without the safety of clothing (i.e. answers).
anon, and +peace