Earlier in the afternoon I had arrived on campus running late and in low spirits. Each Thursday I try to get to the chapel prior to noon so that I can get my sign out of its storage space before the Catholic Campus Ministry Mass starts. As I was behind my time, they were already setting up. I darted in and tried to get the sign out quickly so as not to be in the way. One of the CCM students saw me struggling a bit with carrying the sign and came out and offered to carry it for me. He chatted with me and carried it all the way to my spot in the DSU. He said it was a great sign and he didn't want it to get banged up. He had appreciated seeing it on Thursdays.
Who is offering hospitality to whom? I didn't have any prayer requests today, but I did have a number of people drop by to say hello and chat for a minute. As I sit and offer prayer to the campus, the campus welcomes me into its midst. It seems that we bless each other. CNU's vice president, a parishioner at Bruton Parish stopped by today and said he hoped to make it to Eucharist one Thursday. I have had exchanges with several of the staff as well, and today I enjoyed catching up with a couple of them. The lady who takes the money in the lunch area was having a birthday.
It was so cold today that I stayed inside, though the drafts from the doors were tough to take. Towards the end of my time I found that I couldn't stop shivering. I picked up some hot Chick-fil-a nuggets and fries and then stopped in to see my friend in the Admissions Office. She is the perfect person to have in an Admissions Office. So warm and full of life, bubbling over with joy. I basked in her smile and bright energy as the heat in the office stopped my shivering. She had come up to me after I had been introduced at the Trible's campus ministry dessert event and asked if I would pray for staff, too. Of course. I look forward to seeing her each week whether she waves to me while I'm at the prayer station or whether I drop by the office to see how she's doing.
Who is offering hospitality to whom? Who are the angels and who are the hosts? Who are the strangers in need of a little kindness? Today I felt like others were angels to me. But I suspect some of them may have felt the same. I have quoted this before, but I think it bears repeating, "Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it" (Hebrews 13:2.) One of my hopes for the prayer station is that it would offer that hospitality, that invitation. Just like Rublev's icon, inviting viewers to come a little closer and spend some time with the mystery.