Today another “guest” in our household, who has been here for approximately three months departs. It was with little (one day) warning, but we knew the day would come. He has found a Girl Friend to move in with, in a nearby state, and has been unable to find jobs here. He departs, with our well wishes in his future endeavors. He says he will come back and visit us when his life is more “stable.” and my wife will likely see him in a month when she takes a trip to Ohio where she will be nearby.
He’s constantly told us that he’ll “Pay us back.” While cash returned is always a good thing, that’s not the point of hospitality. Even the possiblity of having to rely upon him in the future (unlikely, but always a possibility) isn’t it either. Hospitality reaps its own rewards both in this life, and for whatever is to come.
Our fellow house mate, also a “heathen” impressed upon him that indeed, paying us back was hardly necessary. However, we do have an “expectation.” Just as we’ve opened our doors to him in his time of need, if the situation is ever reversed, we expect him to open his doors to someone else. Maybe its the idea of balancing the universe, or repaying a karmic debt. Our expectation is that just as we have treated him, that is how he should treat others.
Over the years, my wife has tolerated and even embraced this concept of hospitality. There have been many (at least 4, probably more) people who have come into and out of our household. Some have stayed, and become members of our family. Others have left to form their own. Some have left, and have returned. We hold a special place in our hearts for each one of them. They enrich our lives, and we hope we’ve enriched theirs.
No doubt, as the economy takes its time to improve, there will be others that cross our hearth to stay for a time. We welcome those who do with open arms, hoping that the gifts we give will somehow make the universe a better place.
—Scott Mohnkern AKA. The Modern Heathen