Piles of laundry, yardwork, hectic schedules, napping kids.
Let’s face it—there’s never a perfect time to invite others into our homes and, ultimately, into our lives.
In her debut book, Invited: The Power of Hospitality in an Age of Loneliness (Herald Press, August 2019), author Leslie Verner says that when it comes to practicing hospitality, we can’t hold out for ideal circumstances. In a culture where loneliness and isolation abound, a simple invitation is often the most groundbreaking move we can make.
After time spent living in Uganda and China, and working among international students in the United States, Verner identifies a striking difference between hospitality around the world and the West. While loneliness is at epidemic proportions in the U.S., other cultures are often more connected and inclined to host neighbors in their homes, creating a sense of community and connection many Westerners are missing.
“The entire Bible is an invitation to more relationship, more connection, more intimacy,” says Verner. “But our schedules and tasks often barricade us from the intimacy and community we desire. Lack of time can make prioritizing people or bumping into acquaintances more of an annoyance than a gift.”
Instead of a “how to” book, Invited offers stories that reframe hospitality. Less about entertaining and more about becoming a good neighbor, this book urges readers to move past the expectation of perfection and reach out for connection.
“Jesus never considered people to be interruptions,” explains Verner. “I hope to set my schedule by people instead of by tasks. People are eternal; the dishes, laundry, lawn, and football game are not.”
Publishers Weekly said: “Verner debuts with an impassioned plea for people to open their doors and invite neighbors and strangers into their homes and lives…[her] persuasive message to ‘become a good neighbor’ will appeal to Christians and general readers alike.”
Leslie Verner writes about faith, justice, family, and cross-cultural issues for SheLoves, Relevant, The Mudroom, and other venues. She earned her master’s degree in intercultural studies and bachelor’s degree in education from Wheaton College.
Verner lived in China for five years, where she taught English as a second language and studied Mandarin. She lives in Colorado with her husband and three children. Connect with her at http://www.ScrapingRaisins.com.
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SOURCE: Assist News