Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Thinking about Radical Hospitality

Yesterday I had to get some house keys made. I really didn't want to go to the huge super duper mega store with the orange sign -- too many people, too many cars in the parking lot. So I went to a smaller hardware store just a little further down the road. It was such a pleasant experience! It is now my very favorite store -- Hill's Ace Hardware -- for two reasons. First is the incredible customer service. My husband claims that if you are in the store more than 30 seconds and someone hasn't asked if they can help you, you better look around because the building will be on fire. The store is clean, neat; the staffing friendly and helpful.

The second reason I love this store is Clyde. Clyde is the hardware store's cat. He's a big fellow and quite friendly. I have to love a store that has a store cat. (Or a store dog, for that matter.) There is just something about having a cat or dog around that says "Welcome."

My second favorite airport had both an airport cat (A.C.) and an airport dog (D.C. (Yes, I know -- the Dog should be A.D. I once asked Jimmy what D.C. stood for. It's "Dog Critter." Of course. Obvious.)) My favorite bookstore ever had a Scottish fold kitty cat that lounged around on the checkout counter. I once tried to order a cat for work by calling it the "Organic Chemically Propelled Pest Control Unit," the cat food "Pelletized Fuel for Organic Chemically Propelled Pest Control Unit" and the cat food bowl "Cylindrical Container for the Pelletized Fuel for the Organic Chemically Propelled Pest Control Unit." Didn't get through the purchasing department because I didn't prove I had pests.... Worth a try, though.

I wonder what church would be like if we greeted everyone that walked in the doors with a handshake and the phrase "Good morning!" and "How can I help you?" Everyone. Not just the people we know (but ask them, too). Everyone. No matter what they looked like or acted like or smelled like or whatever. I am getting better at just saying, "Hello!" to just about anyone and introducing myself. Of course, I'm an mostly an extrovert. For others it might be harder. But I wonder.

I wonder what church would be like if we did have cats and dogs in the church. I wonder what it would be like to have a cat sit in your lap during service or have a dog help out at Sunday School. Or at least, a cat in the church office. I wonder what it would be like if dogs did roam in the sanctuary, looking for crumbs under the communion table. I do wonder.

Bullets for Tuesday
  • I'm thinking about the word Radical today. In Bishop Job's book this morning I noticed him using the word 4 or 5 times. I used it once today.
Radical :
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English, from Late Latin radicalis, from Latin radic-, radix root — more at root
Date: 14th century
1: of, relating to, or proceeding from a root: as a (1): of or growing from the root of a plant <radical tubers> (2): growing from the base of a stem, from a rootlike stem, or from a stem that does not rise above the ground <radical leaves> b: of, relating to, or constituting a linguistic root c: of or relating to a mathematical root d: designed to remove the root of a disease or all diseased and potentially diseased tissue <radical surgery> <radical mastectomy>
: of or relating to the origin : fundamental
3 a
: marked by a considerable departure from the usual or traditional : extreme b: tending or disposed to make extreme changes in existing views, habits, conditions, or institutions c: of, relating to, or constituting a political group associated with views, practices, and policies of extreme change d: advocating extreme measures to retain or restore a political state of affairs radical right>
4 slang : excellent, cool
(from Websters.com)
  • I have several of Bishop Job's book to give away. I'm going to start today. I have a huge circuit mapped out of people to visit.
  • Little Kitty is not doing very well -- the tooth extraction was hard on her. She's eating ... some -- more than she was so the surgery was a good thing. She's sleeping a lot. I've been loving on her and helping her get on and off the sofa. She's just so very skinny. She will be 20 years old in November. Hard to imagine.
  • I also have some free cycle boxes to pick up on the way. I'm going to burn some gas today.
  • I had to watch Entropy get on the bus the morning -- I had to talk on the cell to Chaos as she stood at the bus stop. Separation anxiety is hard -- at least for the mama.
  • I had to search for my portable communion set. My churches don't have a church office -- so all my office stuff is in Girl Scout cookie boxes in the garage. Well, at least they WERE in the garage; they are now in the kitchen. I want to repack them into something better. I think this is the third time I've had my office stuff in the garage. Maybe I should invest in permanent boxes.
  • I need to go to the Post office, to the gas station (oh boy!), to the grocery store and just get on the road. Later!

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