Hospitality #BibleJournaling

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Are you the kind of person who likes surprises thrown into your day? Or are you a scheduler who prefers to have your day outlined in your planner and then proceed according to plan?

I’m definitely the latter. So, a few weeks ago when I read, in Matthew 14, about Jesus’ botched up day plans, I took notice.

His relative John, who had baptized Him, had recently been arrested and imprisoned by Herod. Then, through the trickery of Herod’s partner Herodias, John was beheaded. His disciples disposed of his body then went to tell Jesus.

On hearing of John’s death, Jesus’ plan was to get away to a “deserted place by Himself,” no doubt to process this sad news and to grieve.

When He got to that deserted place, however, it wasn’t deserted at all. Instead, throngs were waiting for Him there with their sick.

Did Jesus express disappointment or frustration at having His plans changed? Did he dismiss the crowds or get His disciples to do it with “Sorry! The healer isn’t seeing people today”?

No. Instead, He was moved with compassion over their conditions, spent all day healing, and at day’s end, when the disciples wanted to send the crowds home, challenged them to feed everyone before they set off.

You have to be hospitable to the core to react toward the crowds like Jesus did in the face of grief, disappointment, and wrecked plans. For hospitality is first an attitude before it comes out in action. Jesus’ hospitality was the focus of my art journal entry for Matthew 14.

To make the illustration I transferred an online image of cupped hands onto tracing paper, then drew, cut out, and pasted the loaves and fishes into them. I attached the hands to my Bible page with Washi tape as a tip-out. They symbolize Jesus’ heart of hospitality.

I hope the image of loaded hands stays with me next time someone’s needs come between me and what’s written in my planner!

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“But Jesus said to them, ‘They do not need t go away. You give them something to eat'” – Matthew 14:16 (© 2017 by V. Nesdoly)

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Tea Dialects

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Afghan tea

Tea dialects

I flick on electric kettle
and offer chamomile, peppermint
Red Rose, Earl Grey, or green
pour steaming water over gauze pouches
into clear mugs that show off
emerging jewel colors.

Recall the ceremony of biscuits
and creamy English Breakfast on a tray
served in porcelain by an aunt
before breakfast in a Winchester cottage.

Dream of spicy chai, bought outdoors
just after sunrise from an Afghan tea-wallah
water heated over his smoky fire
poured from a copper teapot into a glass
and sipped through lumps of sugar.

Know that wherever I am
the warm, fragrant
steeped-to-perfection
language of tea
needs no interpretation.

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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Prompt – Inspiration
Last January my friend Laurel and I wrote ekphrastic poems inspired by photos in the Shadows and Silhouettes collection, one of The Big Picture series in the Boston Globe. This poem was in response to photo is #20.

Laurel’s poem “Tea for Two” prompted by the same photo is HERE.

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VintagePADThis April I’m celebrating National Poetry Month by posting some not-as-yet published poems from my files, along with what inspired them. If the prompt inspires you to write a poem of your own, you’re welcome to share it in comments. Whether you write or not, thanks so much for dropping by!

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Poetry Friday LogoThis post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Joanne Early Macken at Teaching Authors.

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