In today’s episode of The Turquoise Table, host Kristin Schell interviews Leslie Verner, who shares with us about hospitality and loving others well. Her recently published book, Invited: The Power of Hospitality in an Age of Loneliness, dives into the epidemic of social isolation that results from us lacking face-to-face interaction with one another. Leslie shares when she’s personally felt lonely in her life, specifically in life transitions, such as big moves across the country and her freshman year of college.
Leslie conveys just how crucial hospitality is to community, anywhere in the world. While living in China for five years, she was invited into the homes of her students and neighbors, even when she couldn’t speak the language well. Once she experienced being welcomed into the homes of others as an outsider, she knew how important it was to welcome people into her own home.
When contemplating whom she should help within the community, Leslie happened to be reading the story of the Good Samaritan. Through this, God reminded her to stay on her Jericho road and pay attention to the right-next-to-you people.
When Leslie was single, she would constantly invite people over or go out to dinner with them, but it resulted in burnout. With the help of her introverted husband, Leslie has learned to put some boundaries in place. Not being committed every night has prevented hospitality fatigue.
The importance of reflecting on why you are inviting people over is key, in terms of evaluating whether you are inviting because you think you should, because you feel lonely, or perhaps someone else needs a friend. Hospitality is the life source that produces the very cells our collective humanity needs to function. Yet it is still important to establish personal boundaries that will allow you to sustainably invite people into your life and space as you continue your journey of hospitality.
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Purchase Leslie Verner’s book: Invited: The Power of Hospitality in an Age of Loneliness
To find your local chapter, learn more about Polished, or to see Kristin Schell speak at the Austin, Texas gathering on October 9th, visit: www.polishedonline.org
Connect with Leslie:
- Website: Scraping Raisins
- Twitter: @leslie_verner
- Instagram: @scraping_raisins
- Facebook: Scraping Raisins – Leslie Verner
Connect with Kristin:
Podcast Discussion Guide
Now it’s your turn!
Who are the “right-next-to-you” people in your life? Have you considered praying for them? Inviting them for coffee or to grab a bite to eat?