May 2, 2020

​The Offer

The unexpected benefits of extending hospitality.

Brenda Kiš

Sandy had just moved out of my basement apartment a few weeks before, and I was enjoying the sole possession of my house once again.

The Deal: My Gains

“Carla talked to me about needing a place to live,” my friend said. “I told her you have a place that’s free now.”

I winced. So soon, Lord? I’d just like a little time by myself.

Shortly thereafter, another friend mentioned that she had referred Carla to me also: OK, God, I’ll wait for her to contact me.

But time went on, and she never did. So why was I struggling so with her dilemma? It wasn’t my problem! Nevertheless, I couldn’t get her out of my mind. One day, I finally told God that if He brought her face to face with me in church the next day, I would consider that my cue to invite her to live in my home. That’s not going to happen! We rarely interact, and she sits in another place in church anyway. I felt safe in my magnanimous offer. But not only did God bring her face to face with me that Sabbath, He had her sit down beside me for the first time ever! So the next day I called.

My dilemma didn’t have to concern God. . . . So why couldn’t He get me out of His mind?

“Carla, I understand you need a place to live,” I began. “I have an apartment that’s furnished and ready right now. The only thing is that we will need to share my kitchen. Is that OK with you?”

Sounds of weeping filled my ear. Carla was sobbing out her relief and gratitude. She moved in that very day. A few weeks later we were locked in together as the governor declared a policy of self-isolation in light of the COVID-19 crisis.

All I Would Have Lost

Had I selfishly refused to let God lead, as I was tempted to do, I would have been alone during those long weeks. And who knows what would have become of Carla? Over time, we found a friendship we had not anticipated. We blessed each other during the days of solitude—worshipping and praying, playing games, sharing our life stories, putting puzzles together, watching inspiring films. I gave her piano lessons, and she helped me improve my Spanish. When I hurt myself and couldn’t get around easily, she cleaned the whole house. When she struggled with the recent breakup of her home, I spoke words of sympathy and encouragement.

I’m thinking now that I, too, have been the recipient of an offer, one much greater. My dilemma did not have to concern God. He had His marvelous Paradise, where nothing could intrude on His joy. So why couldn’t He get me out of His mind? Unlike what I had wished to do, He wouldn’t banish us from His thoughts—He loves too much for that. His offer on the cross was to share His fabulous heavenly home. That day in early 2020, He was teaching me how much people matter to Him—both Carla and me.

Brenda Kiš writes from Berrien Springs, Michigan, where she seeks to serve God through spoken and written words.