Study Questions for “Hospitality, Dignity and the Power of Recognition” by Christine Pohl
Hospitality is resistance to a larger societal norm’s lack of respect and humane treatment of others, who are of the socially disadvantaged communities.The poor folks of this world are not socially valuable to the world community and are overlooked until some organization needs to have an increase in numbers to suffice the organization’s needs at the time being. The poor folks see no commitment from this organization until several months later when the organization needs to increase their numbers again.One example is a church that was built in the good part of town airs a television program twice a year.
They have a need to fill their pews so that the congregation looks full when the TV cameras span the crowd. The workers take the church bus to the poor side of town to pick up a load of children with the promise of bag of candy for each child. But when the service is over and the children are dropped off at the nearest corner of the poor side of town, the children do not see any of the workers again until the next television airing.3. Hospitality involves treating the poor with dignity.
It recognizes Christ in the faces of the downtrodden and strangers. Kind words must be spoken among those whoare oppressed by social elitists. Christian hospitality allows the disadvantaged to feel comfortable and welcomed.4. Sharing a meal with the poor allows the helper to exercise and practice hospitality the way Christ taught us.
Sitting down to sup with the needy tells them that the helper welcomes them. It gives the helper a chance to get to know them as a person, thus giving them recognition in a world that values recognition. The disadvantaged are given value as a human being.The person being helped must first set aside some defenses that he or she had built over the years to protect self from the cruelty of others. The disadvantaged must trust the helper enough to accept the help being offered.
This is the crucial point in working with this sector of people. This is the moment when kind words must be spoken to allow the one being helped to relax his or her caution and distrust of others.When a Christian regularly practices hospitality, it becomes a good habit. Itbecomes like a second nature that automatically kicks in when a person sees a need in others. It builds character in people; the kind of character that creates heroes in a troubled time. There is no selfishness or greed in hospitality.
Practicing hospitality shows us why a man would lay down his life for others. Hospitality has been known to change the lives of some people’s enemies.